Josephine Meckseper at Elizabeth Dee

Josephine Meckseper Shelf #31 2005 mixed media on metal shelf 23.75" x 60" x 14" [large detail of installation]

Josephine Meckseper's show at Elizabeth Dee was the highlight of a Chelsea afternoon on Saturday, and I hadn't even prepped.

Total serendipity.

Barry and I still had a lot of catching up to do after being away for a few weeks, and because of a seven-hour time change we had been pretty much out of it for a week or after that. The result was that we were kinda focused on shows which were closing that day or in the near future when we saw the faux shop windows on either side of the entrance to the gallery on 20th Street.

From the press release:

Starting with the façade, Meckseper will alter the windows of Elizabeth Dee Gallery to resemble the dramatic display windows of an upscale department store. Mixing semantic codes, the objects on display in one window will seem to sell a vision of current American politics, while the other will offer images of an oppositional culture of protest and references to the women's correctional facility across the street. Vinyl lettering suggests the monolithic encroachment of a homogenizing globalism in a leveraged buyout and merger of New York's most prominent museum, gallery, and exhibition sponsor.
Meckseper's elegant, ironic installation seductively addresses twenty-first century American consumerism and power, in a not-so-subtle mockery especially of the two things we still do better than anyone else: shopping and shooting. There're also some good bits about the commodification of women, workers, race, relationships, sex, art and even ideas themselves.

Meckseper State of the Union Address to Senate and Nation 2005 glass, mirror, newspaper, chrome, metal mesh, found jewelry 42" x 18" x 12" [installation view, with three other works, Clearance Sale, Untitled (50% Off) and Untitled (Mirror Wall), in background]

Meckseper Untitled (Vitrine) 2005 mixed media in display window 46" x 46" x 18.5" [installation view]

Meckseper [installation view of a piece introduced to the show late; its details are not yet available]

Ms Meckseper, You are a lovely woman. Please explain to me, the difference between what you do and what a window display person does at a department store. They are each very similar, surely they are both not art of equal value. What is it that makes one art and the other unart? Thank you, Ron Grauer

Sehr geehrte Frau Meckseper,

Mein Name ist Alessa Wahler, eine Schülerin des Gymnasiums Achern und in der 11. Klasse im Profilkurs Kunst. Dieses Jahr machen wir in der Schule mit einer Universität in Konstanz eine Studie . Als Stoff nehmen wir mitunter Installationskunst durch. Wir haben sie als Künstlerin dieser Richtung ausgewählt und schauen auch ihre Ausstellung in Stuttgart an. Jedoch macht ein Teil unserer Klasse einen USA-Austausch bei welchem wir auch schliesslich ein paar Tage nach New York kommen.
Es wäre uns ein sehr grosses Anliegen sie bei dieser Gelegenheit persönlich zu treffen und mit ihnen über ihre Werke, und ihr künstlerisches Dasein zu unterhalten.
Wir , die Klasse 11b würde sich sehr freuen wenn sie sich bei uns melden.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Alessa Wahler

Alessa, this is James. I've translated your message and forwarded both the English version and the original to the director of Josephine Mekseper's gallery.

I hope your schedules turn out to be compatible, and that everything works out. I wish you and your entire class the very best in the future.