Epic Failure

Jed Perl in The New Republic:

Ian Burns, the carpenter-shop charmer whose Epic Tour was a bright spot at PS1’s “Greater New York 2005” earlier this year, has turned embarrassingly portentous in his first New York gallery show, at Spencer Brownstone. Gone is the funny kid who invited visitors to take a trip in a wooden chair, which lurched along a train track lined with shadow plays and assorted amusements. At PS1, Burns didn’t seem to be taking himself too seriously. His work, tossed together with lumberyard basics, was light and provisional. I liked it.

Either there were undercurrents in The Epic Tour that I didn’t pick up, or else Burns has shifted directions now, but whatever the story there’s no question that the adorable kid has become yet another shrieking art world politico, offering big statements about Abu Ghraib, Abner Louima, and man’s inhumanity.

More here.