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Artist Interventions as Sugarcoating

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Fall 2010 Studio magazine, a publication that functions as newsletter, press release and behind-the-scenes peek at the museum’s operation, doesn’t exactly look institutional. This edition is covered by a mottled, fibrous layer of paper that obscures the magazine itself. Simply emblazoned “Fences,” the cover is part of an artist intervention into the Studio Museum’s magazine by Dave McKenzie. Interspersed throughout the publication’s pages are photos by the artist. Yet the photos fail to escape their medium; the whole project feels too much like branding. Does this artist intervention act more like the toy at the bottom of a cereal box than a distinct work?