Robert Yoder, Teenage Donna (Hobby Lantern 8) (2013), oil and acrylic on cotton T-shirt.
  • Courtesy of the artist and Platform Gallery
  • Robert Yoder, Teenage Donna (Hobby Lantern 8) (2013), oil and acrylic on cotton T-shirt.

"It's 1979 and we're all getting stoned in Donna's house." So begins Robert Yoder's artist statement for his new joint show with Michelle Kloehn at Platform Gallery, called Dark Entries. They're journal entries, maybe—the narrator is unidentified. The short slice of life that follows that sentence involves wrestling with another boy who, like the unknown voice, also gets a hard-on, "but we didn't do anything."

A thought comes to mind about the game of hide-and-seek that's instigated by this "artist's statement" and the show of enigmatic abstract paintings and photographs it accompanies: Now, here, in this city where Yoder lives and made this art earlier this year, smoking pot is legal, something you can do in your kitchen, still wearing your Oxford shirt after a long day at the office. Similarly, these days you can not only acknowledge your mutual hard-ons, but take them all the way to the chapel and gay-marry. If anything in officially liberalized urbanity is frowned upon, it's secrecy. Hiding is verboten. Why aren't you out? Yoder's works feel nostalgic for some good old-fashioned shame.

What's a man to do when his oppressors abandon him?

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