Carissa Rodriguez

A service top is one who tops under the direction of an eager bottom. A versatile top is one who prefers to top but who bottoms occasionally. Starting at the top, the artist’s tongue – muscle of conceptual articulation and arbiter of aesthetic disposition – is more simply, the locus of language and taste; while accordingly at the bottom, the filth of distinction gathers in the anus. Pornography sanitizes anuses by cosmetically bleaching them for the screen, rendering natural flesh “more uniform with its surrounding area”, similar to the way art galleries light and fluff their spaces to achieve the cold, fluorescent-white installation shot that emits an ambience akin to the sweatshop– an artwork at its maximum efficiency. Between tongue and anus are the organs, situated midway, or Midtown, much like the art advisor’s position between the artist and the collector. Practitioners of Chinese medicine diagnose the conditions of internal organs as its symptoms appear on the tongue’s surface, which is read and appraised like a rare map, rug, vase or painting, and although it is too overwrought to liken the tongue to a screen (mirroring the artist inside) or to a ‘mood board’ in the case of the branding consultant, the liver and spleen are nevertheless dutifully at work scripting messages to the moist upper surface.


Postcards are merchandise for objects or experiences that are rarified or scarce, often evidencing a real life encounter; they are also souvenirs of a moment in an artist’s career, albeit an image that travels slowly. In contrast, the image printed on the reverse of this sheet is a fast-moving image of a slow-moving work – In Search of Lost Time – a crafting of subjects par excellence in the relentless fight between living beings and apparatuses.The shadow silhouette of the hand-on-phone cast on the faces of the characters who catch some shade in the corner of the page is perhaps ‘poignant’, one of the few words Louise Lawler has said of her images, arrangements of artworks in their various states of becoming.


The film La Collectionneuse (Eric Rohmer, 1967) traces a triangulated relationship between an aspiring gallerist, a conceptual artist and a jeune-fille with no known vocation. A fourth subject enters later in the form of an American art collector-silent partner-investor-pimp in pursuit of a rare Song Dynasty vase.We watch the actors self-consciously trying to do as little productive activity as possible while the film spans an entire summer vacation, the period of time that this exhibition also spans,during which the piece You Know The Rules.You Fall in Love.You Lose.,2013, a collaboration with Forrest Nash, will transpire online.


Through a set series of structural and aesthetic negotiations leading to an exhibition project at Front Desk Apparatus, La Collectionneuse responds to the conditions by which and through an artist today is called to appear, escalating what is implicit and complicit in appearing; and in extreme cases of stylized hyperversatility, to the conditions by which an artist is called to disappear.


CR 5/6/13


Every ray of light has its strongest and weakest point.You have to catch it just right.You can’t put it to use in a vacuum.You can make it fall in a straight line, reflect or deflect it, gather it in or spread it out, make it round as a bubble, make it shine or block it out. At its weakest point, it’s darkness. –Daniel, La Collectionneuse


Carissa Rodriguez, born 1970 in New York City, lives and works in New York City and is represented by House of Gaga, Mexico City and Karma International, Zurich. Her work is currently on view in New York in the group exhibition Better Homes at the Sculpture Center through July 22nd, 2013, in the group exhibition ProBio in conjunction with EXPO 1 at MoMA PS1 through September 2nd, 2013 and in Celluloid Brushes: An Anthology of the Filmic Perception of the Artist from 1942 till Today, a project by Établissement d’en Face at Ludlow 38 through September 1st, 2013.