press release

apexart curatorial program
December 13, 2002, 6 - 9 pm

apexart curatorial program is proud to present a musical performance by Larry Krone and stand up comedy by Guy Richards Smit and Lou Fernandez curated by Christopher K. Ho and Mari Spirito.

Marcel Duchamp once observed that “art in the twentieth century has come to a similar function as a mere entertainment.” It is indeed within the context of entertainment that Guy Richards Smit and Larry Krone situate their respective performances. Far from being “mere,” however, their identification with entertainment is critical rather than complicit. By foregrounding discontinuities in their work, they systematically founder its ability to achieve the sheer exteriority emblematic of everyday life in twentieth-century America.

Not only is Smit’s stand up comedy routine acutely unfunny, but he is unceremoniously interrupted and publicly berated by a colleague, Fernandez. This interruption evinces two disjunctions: between goods promised to the audience (comedy) and goods delivered (drama); and between Smit’s ideal of himself and Fernandez’s opinion of him. Likewise is Krone’s performance structured around an internal rift. While initially appearing down-to-earth—a program of country ballads sung with sister Janet and brother-in-law Randy—gradually, Krone strips down to a slip dress.

While entertainment requires the presentation of a seamless exterior, it is precisely the seams that Smit and Krone showcase. The dialectic between high and low has been a mainstay of modern art; here, rather than aspiring to the slickness of mass culture, Smit and Krone resolutely fall short of it. This failure, finally and paradoxically, allows for the performances’ success, breaking as it does the passivity of the audience to connect artist with viewer via disruption, subversion of expectation, and radical juxtaposition.  

Guy Richard Smit lives and works in New York City. He has recently shown at the MoMA MediaScope, Team Gallery, and Galerie Filles du Calvaire in Paris.  

Larry Krone lives and works in New York City.  He has performed and participated in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, the New Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis.