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Maya Schindler at DBHB: Too much thinking

A show that comes with its own excuse!

Faced with a broadcast accusation, I always feel as if it's directed at me. Thinking too much!? Not me! Schindler's is an aggressive piece; before anything else, I've got to decide who's to blame for all this excessive thinking. Since it can't be me, it must be that the artist is writing injunctions for herself, like a school child writing phrases on the blackboard as punishment. The machinelike, claustrophibic intensity of Schindler's wall of words is intended as a mantra – a repeated phrase that loses its meaning and dissolves into non-thought. Perhaps this works for the artist, but it just makes viewers like me, used to ignoring billboards, more nervous. Maybe I am thinking too much, but not about the piece or its possible interpretations. All that sea-blue plastic tarp, combined with the recurring triangular shapes in the letters K and N, put me in mind of sailing. There's also the distracting mystery of the missing O's. As the letters were cut, the loose ends were left to flop down. The centers of the O's, of course, came loose entirely. They're not on the gallery floor, and I can't help but wonder where they went.

A drippy watercolor of sunflowers is hung incongruously at one end of the banner like a punchline, or Satori.

also by Bill Davenport
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