Vaguely condescending but mostly respectful review of Wit favorite Karen Kilimnik's survey show at the ICA in Philadelphia by New York Times critic Roberta Smith, below. For we of Wit all Kilimnik's artistic devices and guises are brilliant ways to get past the mystification of female sexuality and female intelligence in culture, something that high culture is still as guilty of as low culture. (High culture is in fact now perhaps more guilty of this than low, which permits more of certain liberties freed from the class restraints of the former.)
The vaguely anti-social (or undersocialized; or as Smith puts it "woman-child") Kilimnik has the nuts or stupidity to keep pointing out this mystification. Artists like Smith favorite Cindy Sherman are the adolescent ones to we of Wit, as they have childishly made a bargain with this system rather than creating a space outside it. We of Wit are not fans of Sherman's work because it participates in creating a nostalgic (or retrograde, if you wish) aura of witchy atavism around women. Kilimnik's adolescent tinge is uncomprising and bold--the stance of a Deleuzian madwoman describing new "lines of flight."
Smith herself also seems to deliberately rely on this kind of mystificiation and Hellfire-style social S & M in her career as a female art critic. That's not power to we of Wit, it's a pose. One that is designed to make other people (call them "child-men", if you please) comfortable.
"Karen Kilimnik has gotten the survey that her strange, still difficult achievement deserves. For one thing, her show at the Institute of Contemporary Art is appropriately strange itself, beginning with a barren, seemingly empty, party’s-over gallery. It goes deep into her woman-child imagination, touching an all-too-American sense of emptiness. It also makes her efforts in installation art, which encompass materials as various as glitter, fake snow and blood, stuffed animals, ballet shoes and piles of party drugs, feel of a piece with her painting, photography, video and drawing."