Art-and-Commerce Exhibition Is A Welcome DIS During Armory Week

Last night I tried to go to the “last” Brucennial. The line was endless. People were trying to tell the bouncers that they needed to get in, because they were in the show. (Unfortunately, 29,181.82 people were in the show). After a few days of fairs–plus a Chelsea opening where a few collector-types were verbally masturbating over the extreme youth of the latest fly-by-night, auction-approved painter–I basically hit a wall. I ditched the Brucennial. I tweeted angrily about an art world that can be so exciting one moment, and so horrifyingly gross and desperate the next. And then I rode my bike to the V.I.P. opening of an exhibition hosted by an energy drink company,  featuring hip jerseys emblazoned with the abstracted face of Slavoj Zizek.

And you know something? It was just the antidote I needed. (Okay, a few Red Bull vodkas helped, too. I love those things and I am not ashamed and it’s really nice to be in a safe place where no one is judging you for sipping your sickly brown-colored, wings-giving cocktail). The exhibition, “DISOwn,” was organized by online platform DIS magazine, and featured work from Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch, Jon Rafman, and many others, most all of it for sale in some shape or form (with plenty of things under $100). There were reflective chairs intended for unpaid interns, ball gowns involving bungee cords, soap shaped like clasped hands, and yoga mats. The gallery space looked more like a store, which was the intent–imagine a shiny UNIQLO outpost, but outfitted with climbing ropes and other gear repurposed as retail fixtures. The project itself is billed as “a diffusion line for art, as Karl Lagerfeld for H&M is for fashion.”  Cynical, sure, but also really fucking bright! And cheery! Especially after the fifth Red Bull, when the shimmery edges of reality start to blur the slightest bit!  “DISOwn” is open for business through April 6. My only complaint is that there was a complete lack of art- or fashion-related merchandise geared to cats. My cats would really enjoy little sports jerseys with Zizek’s face on them, or miniature “flaming denim” sweatsuits like the one shown below, by Korakrit Arunanondchai. Maybe next year.