David Horvitz @ Believe Inn, and a Brief Word on Fried Okra

I spent Saturday afternoon back at the Hyde Park Art Center for their Fryvalry event, hosted by third annual fry daddies Philip von Zweck (local mover and shaker whose curated show at Western Exhibitions runs through to August 1st, 2009) and Kevin Jennings (local white, working class, straight male without a website). I came there late with bananas to fry, which was a lot like being the last person on a karaoke list wanting to sing Thriller. While I missed out on most dishes fried, highlights on the vegetarian side were fried green beans and okra, and on the meatatarian side the fried catfish was a clear standout. Also, someone double fried a quarter-pounder.

Philip Von Zweck at last year's Fryvalry

Philip Von Zweck at last year's Fryvalry

Leaving Hyde Park, the next stop on the art tour was all the way up in Bucktown where H. Mathis‘ goddamned beautiful Believe Inn space was hosting David Horviz‘s Impossible to See The Whole Thing at The Same Time. As the space is the front third of Sighn‘ studio (the middle third being a social space with curios packed with art and Golden Age literature for sale) there wasn’t a great deal of room to work with, but the perfectly clever stark painted-floor white-cube effect marked each zone for what it was and allowed the gallery space to function as more than spillover.

David Horvitz at Believe Inn

Worlds Collide: Marco from Golden Age at David Horvitz at Believe Inn

The show consisted of photo projects by Horvitz, many of which were distributed digitally along with instructions for recreation, which is itself an interesting reboot of an old conceptual hit and caused me to google Yoko Ono for the first time in years. The photographs themselves were deceptively clever, coming off at first as quick conceptual jokes but resonating like haiku. In How To Exit a Photograph, we see three images: the first shows Horvitz setting up a ladder in a field, the second shows him climbing the ladder, and the third shows the latter alone – with Horvitz assumed to have climbed out of the frame.

David Horvitz, How to Exit a Photograph

David Horvitz, How to Exit a Photograph (image c)

It reads like a three panel conceptual art cartoon, packed with questions and challenges about photography and photographer that could easily be air dropped as leaflets over countries without 20th century art history professors. As a bonus, the piece in its full resolution entirety is available for free download along with instructions to reproduce the piece.

The interaction between artist and viewer through some digital/tangible crossover medium is a hallmark of Horvitz’ wok. Other works in this instructional series include Walk in Sun (download it here) and an instance of his disposible camera project, which should send you to the nearest Walgreens immediately:

David Horvitz, Disposible Camera Photos

David Horvitz, Disposible Camera Photos

The impressive use of interactive media should by no means suggest that this spider work stands on those legs alone; David Horvitz is a real photographer who makes real photographs complete with eyes and heart and guts. In one corner, a slightly broken black view-master is installed with a image of Horvitz mother at a beach kinked between the stereo lenses. Beside it is a description of the event, telling in plain language how he and his mother stood at the beach for more than an hour in silence, him snapping photos and her staring at the ocean with her back to the camera. Its a quiet, emotional, intimate and excellent piece of art which doesn’t fuck around.

David Horvitz

David Horvitz

Skating so close to punch lines, Its Impossible to See The Whole Thing at The Same Time shows a deftness of concept that should make any artist jealous. Horvitz brings the poetry of conceptual photography into 2009 in a way that is both delicate and confident, dependant and inviting, and which can even make snapshot narratives worth paying attention to.

I give the show an:


David Horvitz’ Its Impossible to See The Whole Thing at The Same Time will run through to July 26th at Believe Inn, 2043 N Winchester.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Weekend Preview (Romance) « Chicago Art Review on 30 Jul 2009 at 1:49 PM

    […] of husband and wife team Chris Silva (dope tunes) & Lauren Feece (dopest strokes). I had such a good time with Believe Inn’s last show, I’ll recommend this one sight unseen. Show opens Friday […]

  2. From Top Five Shows of the Year That I Went To « Chicago Art Review on 01 Jan 2010 at 2:31 AM

    […] 4) David Horvitz @ Believe Inn […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *