In Fra Angelico’s version of the Annunciation that’s painted in the convent of San Marco, the angel Gabriel and the virgin Mary are pictured facing one another in an open room with their arms folded in front of themselves. Read left to right, Gabriel communicates the supernatural status of Mary’s pregnancy to her by pantomiming an expanding abdomen. Her repetition of the gesture illustrating her comprehension of the word as conception itself.
This mirroring of positions may also be read in reverse as an empathic response by Gabriel, doubled over. As Mary comprehends his message corporeally, slouching with her face drawn long as if colored by morning sickness, the sexless angel is also transfigured, terrestrially, gravity pulling its halo beneath hers.
Both figures are framed within the architectural space by a strange horizontal black line that turns inwards and into the space corralling them. The hollow arches in the ceiling above them echo the rounding womb. Within this enclosed and fractured space it becomes difficult to discern narrative priority. What’s inscribed into who and who’s inscribed into what between language, architecture, virgins, angels, and holy embryos is as ultimately perplexing as a set of Russian dolls that don’t fit into one another or where each fits into every.
The image is of subjecthood deformed by a haptic gaze. Through the measurement of the negative, the impressions left upon the individual by the forces of authority, we nominate the lack.
The film and videos in this exhibition share concerns of surveillance, projections of desire, and the scrutiny of institutional authorities but it was more through a sense of the work’s tonalities that they were considered in relation to one another.
James Krone, June 2018
Michel Auder (b. 1945 Soissons, FR) lives and works in New York City. Selected exhibitions include Documenta (14), Kassel/Athens, Monographic Screenings at Documenta (13), Kassel, Stories, Myths, Ironies, and Other Songs: Conceived, Directed, Edited, and Produced by M. Auder at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, The Whitney Biennial (2014), New York, Clown Eggs at Office Baroque, Brussels, Matter Of Fact at the Hessel Museum of Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, The World Out Of My Hands at Lund Konsthall, Lund, Michel Auder Survey Cubitt Gallery, London, Michel Auder: Retrospective 1969-2002 The Renaissance Society, Chicago and The Video Diary of a Madman The Kitchen, New York.
Darja Bajagić (b. 1990 in Podgorica, Montenegro) lives and works in Chicago. Selected exhibitions have taken place at the Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-On-Hudson; Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris; Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien (KM–), Graz; LUMA Westbau, Zurich; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca. She is represented by New Galerie, Paris.
Rosalind Nashashibi (b. 1973 Croydon, UK) lives and works in Liverpool. Selected exhibitions include Documenta (14) Kassel, On This Island University Art Gallery University of California, Irvine, Electrical Gaza Imperial War Museum, London, The Painter and the Deliveryman, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, Carlo’s Vision, Murray Guy, New York, and was a Turner Prize nominee (2017).
Mark Verabioff (b. 1963 Kingston, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Selected exhibitions include TEARS, Team Gallery New York, Civil Piss War at The Pit Los Angeles, Made in LA at the Hammer Museum Los Angeles, Mark Verabioff: Seminal Videotapes 1984-1992 356 S. Mission Rd. Los Angeles, US, and Crack Attack at Night Gallery Los Angeles.
Voyage to the Center of the Phone Lines, 1993
analog video, color, sound, TRT 55:00
courtesy of the artist and Martos Gallery, New York
Tanya vs. Irena, 2014
digital video, TRT 9:04
16mm, color, sound, TRT 10mins
courtesy of Rosalind Nashashibi and LUX, London
Outward Model, 2009
DV, DTS, NTSC, TRT 05:54 minutes
courtesy of the artist and Team Gallery, New York / Los Angeles