THE ANONYMOUS ARTIST PROJECT II
By Ken Johnson
What's in a name ?Where success is measured by name recognition in the right circles, plenty. Name tags also help us to evaluate and interpret work we have not seen before. So to withhold the name of the artist deliberately , as Triple Candie is doing in its current show - and as it did with a different artist last summer -- is a provacative gesture. Like last year's, this year's artist is well known, said the gallery co-direcors, Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett, but for the occasion has done something much different from what he or she is best recognized for. In a style you might call urban arte povera, the artist has evoked a gritty metropolitan ambience. Sneakers wrapped in colored tape and plastic hang from ropes overhead, and low, faux-iron plastic garden fences enclose patches of dirt and litter and existent columns roughly painted brown and tan to ressemble trees. Nailed to one long brick wall, large letters cut from carpet, Astroturf and foam spell, "Wouldn't you have thought by now things would be different between us," echoing Rodney King's famous cri de coeur, "Can't we all just get along?" It seems a safe guess that the installation is meant as a poetic comment on race relations, but without knowing the artist's identity, it is hard to be certain. Maybe that uncertainty is a good thing; maybe the absence of a name allows the work to operate on our imaginations less predictably. It is a question worth pondering.