Preston Link’s perpetual afterparty at Pageant Soloveev

Pageant Soloveev is currently full of what appear to be a number of practical jokes – or artworks – by Preston Link for his show “Here’s to the Future and Afterparty.”  The objects range from full-on audio/visual installations to slices of fake pizza, actual hamburgers and pipes. Whether puckish prankster or Duchampian artist (what is the difference, really?), Link provides a body of work that, if nothing else, provides a sense of humor as unapologetic as it is self-aware.

Preston Link, “Afterparty,”

The star of the show is undoubtedly “Afterparty”. This box is constructed like one of the white, covered pedestals seen housing sculptures in many other art shows, but the similarities end there. The frosted, Plexiglas top flashes with multicolored lights, and muffled dance music womps from within. Occasionally plumes from a smoke machine belch out from underneath. Approaching this box is like wandering to a house party after the club has closed. The tiny, room-like structure has a certain lethargy to its static shape but still seems inviting. It’s literally as if the viewer is observing a rave from outside. Instead of merely holding art, this pedestal seems hellbent on housing a party-within-a-party. At this gallery, the opening may have ended, but “Afterparty” rages on.

Untitled (Sorry)
Preston Link, “Untitled (Sorry).”

Elsewhere, Link kicks it with Rene Magritte in a re-imagining of his famous “This is not a pipe” painting. On the canvas hangs a broken glass apparatus that looks like part of a bong (but to those in the know, and for the record, it is apparently a meth pipe). Securing a wakeful reason for why the afterparty seems like such a good idea, the transparent glass form is captioned “Qu’est-ce Que C’est?” or “What is it?” Clearly its existence as a vehicle for methamphetamine turns its potentially playful potheaded-ness into something more grave. It’s name, “Untitled (Sorry)”, hints at either reconciliation for the broken pipe or a burgeoning speed habit. Either apology seems warranted, but what is certain is that this is, in fact, a pipe. But tobacco enthusiasts need not apply.

Untitled (Syllogism)
Preston Link, “Untitled (Syllogism).”

Elsewhere in the show, the artist thinks with his stomach. Entire pizzas from his “Party in a Box” series grace a space above the entrance, while individual slices of the quintessential party food stick to the wall, high up and out of reach. They are all cardboard-looking and unappetizing, the opposite of what one would expect. “Yard Sign” on the other hand, frames a real hamburger, nailed solidly to the wall. While most yard signs advertise political candidates or real estate sales, this one has more of a McDonald’s slant, blurring the boundaries between corporate and personal interests. It also proves that fast food preservatives work, perhaps, too well.

No. 1, 2012
Preston Link, “No. 1, 2012.”

A few pieces in the show also work more in the line of formal studies, like the paint daubed  pointillist “View of a Mountain on Tuesday” and the biggest composition, “No. 1, 2012”, a ping-pong table covered in a wide variety of shapes and colors of sliced vinyl. Instead of accompanying art with vinyl titles, the plastic pieces actually become the art. The constant ping-pong match of changing context may be obscured by bright vinyl in this work, but elsewhere it is present in overabundance.

Hurry to check out Preston Link at Pageant Soloveev. Although the artist is sure to continue his quirky somersaults of content and composition, this show ends on December 1.