Review ~ Tom Sachs

published on EUTOPIA: Contemporary Art Review

Tom Sachs
Tea Ceremony
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas [link]

Sachs’ new focus, in coopting and hyperventilating the “religion” of the Japanese tea ceremony, manifests as highly American provisional approximations. Embodying the reductive apparatus of utilitarianism whereby traditional systems or concepts can become lightweight, cheap and nomadic embraces Eco’s “Travels in Hyperreality” or Venturi/Brown’s “Learning from Las Vegas” sign-as-system culture. Taken to insane levels of excess, one can track the adept’s passionate re-valuation through selective interpretation: a whisk becomes motorized = shortcut, while only one in one-hundred handmade bowls is acceptable.
This conversion to American systemic foibles dialogizes contradictory knowledge through subjective insight, allowing the possibility for rich, discursive reappraisal.

Ryder Richards
images courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center