Zoe Leonard | Art Agenda


Zoe Leonard | Art Agenda.
October 05, 2012

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Zoe Leonard, 453 West 17th Street, 2012. Lens and darkened room. Image courtesy of Murray Guy, New York.
Zoe Leonard at Murray Guy, New York

September 15–October 27, 2012

It’s a cruel fact of art writing that when political work is positioned under weighty rhetoric, its vim and potency become threatened. The press release for Zoe Leonard’s exhibition at Murray Guy wavers on doing just that, suggesting that the show waxes philosophical on the nature of photography by asking the age-old question “What is photography?” Leonard, whose work ardently politicizes the act of looking, is a hero of queer art and champion of photography as an artistic medium. She privileges a practice of aesthetic subtlety, often proffering bodies of works that achieve meaning through their association in totality rather than as singular objects. I would argue that it’s with the breath of the personal and political that Leonard’s work is most keenly felt, and with the scientific and academic that it loses impact.‘1


Karen Archey is an art critic and curator based in New York. She is the Editor-at-Large of Rhizome at the New Museum and the 2012–2013 Curator-in-Residence at Abrons Arts Center.