KENNETH TIN-KIN HUNG
459 West 19th Street, Chelsea
Through May 10
Looking at Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s art is like peeking into the fever dream of an overworked political blogger. Mr. Hung, 31, is a fierce, funny and inventive political satirist. In a John Heartfield meets Monty Python style, his animated, neon-hued, cut- and-paste montages gleefully skewer all comers left and right, including President Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Moore and all the current and former candidates in this year’s presidential race.
“Gas Zappers,” one of two five-minute videos included in Mr. Hung’s show, his first New York solo exhibition, is like a video game for environmentalists. It depicts President Bush ejecting oil barrels like bombs from his mouth until he is defeated by a polar bear-Al Gore hybrid.
A video called “Residential Erection” and its sculptural companion piece, a large-scale pop-up construction resembling a promotional display for a Hollywood movie, take on the issues and dramatis personae of the current presidential campaign. Voices intone sentiments like “Democracy is a process by which we get organized to perform capitalism,” and dozens of characters, often embarrassingly transformed into cheerleaders, rock stars, animals or pornographic pinups, cavort across the screen, manically acting out zany allegories about oil, war, immigration, health insurance and the mortgage crisis.
Mr. Hung does not assert any positions or propose any solutions, but by hilariously highlighting the exasperating, salacious and mendacious inanity of a hyper-mediated political process, he performs a valuable public service. KEN JOHNSON