Interprets ‘Gay, Jewish, or Both’

Leah Koontz Reviews ‘Gay, Jewish, or Both’

And concludes that the show is “successful”

Koontz structures review in four sections.  She examines the relationship between Jews and homosexuals, gives context to the installation, puts forth some judgment, and concludes that a major gap is “bridged.”  Most flatteringly, Koontz likens a number of the pieces to the important 1996 group exhibition ‘Too Jewish?’, a show that debuted in New York and toured to Baltimore, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.  Koontz writes:

The thing that is amusing about this dining room environment is its subtlety/ambiguity. With a name like Gay, Jewish or Both, Friedman and Margulis had room for quiet references. Immediately upon entering the installation, I noticed the Jewish celebrity prints. Although Natalie Portman is no Mayim Bialik or Barbara Streisand, she did help clue me in, as a person with acute Jew-dar, that this might be a Jewish reference. These works in particular reminded me of Deborah Kass’ work “Four Barbaras,” from her 1992 series “Jewish Jackies”. The work was shown in the exhibition Too Jewish? at the Jewish Museum in New York, curated by Norman Kleeblatt. Kass used Streisand as an example of a rare idol, bringing a positive image to a group of people associated with only negative things.

I enjoyed the repetitive prints seen throughout the Friedman/Margulis installation, and I felt that they really tied the room together. The attitude of the installation also reminded me of Neil Goldberg’s work, particularly his sculpture seen in Too Jewish? called “Workout Tallis”. Like Goldberg’s piece, the Friedman/Margulis piece combines Jewish and homosexual cultural implications to draw out an identity-based discussion.

To read the entire article, click here.

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