Working knowledge of current trends in conceptual art is not a strong point for me. I know it can be good, bad and ugly. The good part seems best exemplified by Los Angeles-based artist Mungo Thomson. My new acquaintance with his work came via this book : Time People Money Crickets.
Perhaps it is the variety of 20th century subject matter that attracts me to his work: (Dylan, Chuck Jones and Jack T. Chick), or the way Thomson varies the subtext of such familiar things. As Martin Herbert says in the book: “That by pointing to the margins he’s talking about the existent breadth of a spectrum: of experience, of culture.”
Take the above, for instance: Yes, it’s truly that much time, only the Bob has been removed. It’s about the audience and thirty years of the sound they make. (If you have a Real Media player, you should be able to hear it here.)
Acoustic Partition: Of course these thing should be giant accordions! Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?
Coat Check Chimes: For the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Thomson made a random enormous musical instrument that still allowed the function of coat-checking to commence. (I hope they kept this.)
Here’s a panel, that encapsulates (to me) the spirit of his work: