Alex Bag

article by Bruce Heinlay, Frieze, May 2009

‘Set the GPS to Despair.’ The sentiment arrives courtesy of Bag’s Untitled (Project for the Whitney Museum) (2009), snarled by a plush red hand-puppet dragon (a kind of Puerto Rican Puff the Magic Dragon channeling Cheech & Chong), who helps the depressed hostess of a children’s variety show by derisively questioning every move she makes. As much as it’s an unnerving curtsey to her own mother’s career as the host of kid’s programmes (The Carol Corbett Show in the mid-to-late 1960s and The Patchwork Family in the 1970s), Bag’s video revisits the plights of pedagogy showcased in Untitled (Fall ’95) (1995), only this time the student has become, whether she likes it or not, the teacher. At an early point in the video, Bag’s lost host says she was ‘trying to pinpoint where things started to go wrong’ for her, some ‘early schism.’ She flips up the album sleeve to David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane (1973) – her introduction to ‘otherness’ and ‘distance,’ ‘otherworlds and otherworldliness.’ Not buying any of it, the dragon bullies her about Bowie: ‘It’s his fault you’re a broken down freak of nature?’....

read FRIEZE ARTICLE about A.Bag and H. Korine

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