Casey Kaplan

Artist News

Liam Gillick and Simon Critchley, Drive Safe

July 16 – September 2, 2013

As part of Draft Urbanism, the 2013 Biennial of the Americas exhibition, Liam Gillick has collaborated with philosopher Simon Critchley to create a billboard, that at first glance mimics a standard caution one would find in any city (“Drive Safe!”). With a second phrase, they are make a manifesto-like call to the arts to recover their revolutionary potential. The text, which states “art must shed its empty defensive irony where every artwork can be reduced to a one line gag on a billboard like this and recover its seriousness, commitment, and capacity for resistance,” is printed upside down, and negates the call to drive safe (after all, it is both difficult and dangerous to read while driving). Taking these two elements, Gillick, who has a propensity for institutional critique, and Critchley have created a work riddled with questions. Is this a critique? Does it make fun of critique? If it is taken as a critique, then is there a speculative element to it, is it a call for a potential art and a potential future?