Allen Ruppersberg


The centerpiece of canonical Los Angeles conceptualist Allen Ruppersberg’s second solo at Greene Naftali is a reinterpretation of Words, Allan Kaprow’s 1962 environment. Numerous photocopies of spoken word album covers from Ruppersberg’s collection have been pasted to the gallery wall, creating a visual cacophony. The piece encourages participation: typewriters loaded with photocopies similar to those on the wall have been rigged to play audio recordings of the albums when visitors tap the keys. The piece suggests a loop between listening and writing, recording and transcription. Though the exhibition certainly looks back to the ’60s and manifests a fascination with older recording technology—another work on view relates to Ruppersberg’s “El Segundo Record Club,” a project for sharing vinyl—it points to the continuing relevance of historical media and resonates with the “uncreative” writing championed by contemporary poets like Kenneth Goldsmith.