’s Tiny Furniture 2
is a rare exhibition that’s actually about modern life, so why does it feel like it was made by people who just landed on earth two weeks ago? Curator Cory John Scozzari
stars as Aura, a recent college graduate who returns to the snazzy Barcelona apartment populated by her successful artist/photographer mother (Scozzari’s actual mother, Jaakko Pallasvuo) and her precociously brilliant high-school-aged sister (Scozzari’s sister Jaakko). Aura’s boyfriend just broke up with her, and her friends and family are dismissive, but she has a cushy job working as a lunch-shift hostess at a restaurant that doesn’t serve lunch, and she has a potential new relationship brewing with a puppyish deadbeat (Huw Lemmey
) who’s a cult star on twitter.
The preoccupations of these characters —internet fame, artistic expression, worrying that they look dorky— are largely explained by the community they inhabit, and Pallasvuo humanizes them with small throwaway moments, as when Cory John looks at her mom’s laptop and asks, “did you google ‘cupcakes?’” The problem is that these moments are largely disconnected, stranded in an exhibition that has no point of view on aimless pseudo-intellectuals beyond “they can be kinda funny sometimes.” Plus, the performances are muted almost to the point of somnolence, almost as though the actors don’t really understand words like “Basel” or “liminality.” The result is an exhibition that plays like pages ripped at random from a smart screenwriter’s notebook, then reproduced verbatim by an artist and curator who don't know what the pages are supposed to mean, let alone how to assemble them into what we humans call an “installation.” “¡Una obra maestra!”