Monday, February 04, 2008

Well, It Looks Like Truth

By HOLLAND COTTER @ New York Times

After an autumn of large, expert, risk-free museum retrospectives, the time is right for a brain-pincher of a theme show, which is what “Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art” at the International Center of Photography is.

Organized by Okwui Enwezor, an adjunct curator at the center, it’s an exhibition in a style that’s out of fashion in our pro-luxe, anti-academic time, but that can still produce gems. The tough, somber little show “Manet and the Execution of Maximilian” at the Museum of Modern Art last year mixed grand paintings with throwaway prints and demanded a commitment of time and attention from its audience. The payoff was an exhibition that read like breaking news and had the pull of a good documentary. It was the museum’s proudest offering of the season.


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