Morgan Falconer, House of Cards, Frieze.com, 2009
Lisa Kirk, INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, 'House of Cards' (2009),Carsten Höller's Revolving Hotel Room(2008) installation was a great publicity coup for the Guggenheim. Shown as part of 'theanyspacewhatever', the museum';s recent Relational Aesthetics survey, visitors could pay a few hundred dollars for the privilege of staying the night on the rotunda. Inevitably, journalists arrived like dogs summoned by whistles; fashionable couples followed. Coming in its wake, 'House of Cards', Lisa Kirk's exhibition at Invisible-Exports, a gallery that opened last September on the outskirts of Chinatown, is a salty satire. She has constructed a shanty dwelling in the narrow gallery space with a range of found objects: orange road barriers have been joined to form a table in the 'dining room' faded vinyl covers a day bed in the 'lounge' old tyres support a bowl in the 'kitchen' and part of a transparent door is nailed to the wooden wall to create a Kirk has been exhibiting, and frequently curating, for about a decade. Her last project, installed at P.S.1 in 2007, was a perfumery-cum-bomb factory, and 'House of Cards' shares its spirit it's a slum as the smart set might design it. This time, though, Kirk is giving the beautiful people the opportunity to try it for a week by selling time-shares, which can be redeemed when the show closes and the shack is reinstalled for a year in Brooklyn Navy Yard. To promote the shares, Kirk has also created a mock real-estate office in the gallery, with photos of incongruously happy, solvent couples enjoying the slum experience. At weekends, actors manning the desk deliver a sales pitch for the so-called maison des cartes(2009), a pitch that is high comedy but which also has a level of satire in that, like most artists staging a commercial show, Kirk does want to sell her work.A faded poster inside the shack shows a policeman in riot gear, and his nametag, Sgt Guy Debord, says much about how Kirk considers her shack; it also, unfortunately, highlights the fact that her critique, with its collage of violent contrasts and spectacle, has a shop-worn feel – even if it is as valid as ever. As a satire on the art market, however, it has power and subtlety, for it';s no doubt true that some wealthy collectors savour the slumming that can comes with their entry into the lower tiers of the market. Moreover, these days, when gallerists are biting the nails in their own backrooms now that no one wants to buy the hype outside, Kirk';s critique has a wicked timeliness.