Available in editions of fifty, the above belt buckles by Cary Leibowitz commemorate fictional events and institutions in the history of art and self-help. Not dissimilar to Terence Gower's boxed gallery identification tags, 1971 (see earlier post, here), the works use titles, locations and dates to suggest an only-slightly alternate history.
Ben Patterson's Fluxus staple Lick Piece, for example, becomes desexualized when the licking of whip cream is only from an ice cream cone. The less sensationalized everyday act becomes more like a George Brecht Fluxus event, only with overtones of carnival competitions. The Alice B Toklas Clam Bake Sale's repeated title reminds of the impossibility of untangling the legend of Toklas from that of her lover, Gertrude Stein. (note: Leibowitz is currently cooking his way through the recipes in The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook). A gathering of Concrete Poets local to New England for a picnic seems possibly only if one imagines the Bay Area Dadaists to be anything other than a small group of collaborators who settled on the moniker.
I'm not sure what Tippy Toe Tuesdays consist of, but it remains my favorite of the series.
The buckles are part of Leibowitz' current show Paintings and Belt Buckles, which has been shortlisted in the New Yorker and Art in America, and reviewed, here, in Artforum. The exhibition continues until October 13th at Invisible Exports on 89 Eldridge Street.
"Cary Leibowitz is that rare miserabilist who has the self-awareness and dexterity of mind to transform his sadness into some of the most thoughtfully conceived comedy out there."