Martin Creed Sneaks Brilliance in Through “The Back Door”

Although he can come across as almost pathologically ill at ease and underprepared, the artist is clearly not lacking in confidence. The Armory’s largest space is its drill hall, which actually earns the overused adjective cavernous. Instead of cluttering it with whimsies, Creed has installed a single huge projection of a new work: a music-video-slick film that primarily shows people opening their mouths to reveal various undefined junk inside. Intermittently, the film stops, and the hall is left completely dark. A loading door at the back of the room cranks open, briefly revealing a rectangular view of Lexington Avenue’s urban bustle. It’s a literalized slice of life, a view of the street as a readymade in its own right. Simple? You better believe it. But dumb? Not quite. Creed once again proves himself one of our finest, and wisest, idiots.


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