Flash Art, June/July 2004
"Open House: Working In Brooklyn" review by Charles G. Beyer

Working in Brooklyn

That place along the East River, also known as the Borough of Kings, has, over the past quarter century, evolved from being considered Manhattan island's ugly stepsister to garnering a glamourous new reputation. Proof? More than 300 works by 200 multi-generational, multi-ethnic resident artists (too many to mention here, but running the gamut from the old school – Vito Acconci – to the new school – Kevin Zucker) all installed salon-style in the newly renovated Brooklyn Museum. The permanent collection's vast holdings have thus been momentarily recontextualized. Case in point: Rob Fisher's offering, Untitled (Container of Ash), is equal parts dumpster and Sleeping Beauty's crystal coffin, filled with burnt matter and situated harmoniously among ancient Egyptian sarcophagi.

Throughout "Working in Brooklyn," a preponderance of contemporary hieroglyphics is apparent in the form of appropriated corporate logos, a few of the best examples being Kambui Olujimi's digital print Something Like a Phenomenon incorporating the Nike/Michael Jordan jump man; Louis Cameron's Fed Ex, a jigsaw puzzle enameled in that omnipresent orange and blue; and Heidi Cody's super-sized whirligig ExxonMobil. All in all, enduring evidence of a desire to reinterpret and immortalize ubiquitous and street-smart lucky charms in order to articulate a more personal kind of symbolism. This impulse – akin to the Pharaoh's belief in rebirth – is also made apparent in the remarkable state of the Borough of Kings' current cultural legacy.