You may not consider 57th Street to be a gallery spot in Manhattan but 24 West 57th Street is home to five galleries including the Marian Goodman Gallery.
I spent an hour at this gallery today to view video installation work by James Coleman. Two floors, the entire gallery, is dedicated to his multimedia art.
The 4th floor and main north gallery is filled with LED based video installation work Untitled, 2011-2015, about 16 feet wide and 12 feet tall, with looped slide image and booming audio, creating a surreal environment. The video image and audio are slightly out of sync, creating an unpredictable sensation.
It looks like a simple projection but actually LED with very complicated electric parts.
My favorite piece was on the 3rd floor, Working Arrangement – horoscopus, 2004 where Coleman uses eight channel video, with eight actors improvising from a theatrical text based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
More information and review by Blouin ArtInfo:
The exhibition presents a selection of iconic early works from the sixties and seventies to the present, and will premiere to the US two major film installations by artist James Coleman (b. 1941, Ireland). Since his first exhibition in 1970, Coleman’s pioneering practice has redefined the understanding and expectations of time-based work and has had an immeasurable influence on subsequent generations of artists, as his critique of the photographic image through meticulously composed slide, film and video projections engages the viewers understanding of how an image accrues meaning and the viewers’ role in defining the experience of the photographic image. The exhibition includes two new works by the artist- ‘Untitled’ and ‘Still Life’, which appears to contemplate the origins and the present currency. Also on view is ‘Documenta 11 Project’ (1998-2000), a video installation, which explores the liminal state between the apparent recognizable and intangible, engaging the viewer’s desire to assign language and meaning to form. Concurrently on is a selection of seminal early films by the artist- ‘Projected Images’, made during his two decades stint in Milan. ‘Working Arrangement- horoscopus’, a project filmed in 2004, comprised of 8 different screens projected simultaneously, is also presented in the Project Room situated on the third floor of the gallery.
James Coleman January 17 – February 18, 2017
Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of James Coleman opening at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017. The show will remain on view through Saturday, February 18th, 2017. This extensive show follows a recent exhibition in our London space, and a major retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2012. The exhibition will present a selection of iconic earlier works from the sixties and seventies to the present, and will premiere to the US two major film installations that have occupied the artist during recent years. Since his first exhibition in 1970, Coleman’s pioneering practice has redefined our understanding and expectations of time-based work and has had an immeasurable influence on subsequent generations of artists. Coleman’s critique of the photographic image through meticulously composed slide, film and video projections engages the viewers understanding of how an image accrues meaning and the viewers’ role in defining the experience of the photographic image. While Coleman assigns a subtle conceptual and temporal aspect to the experience of the image, his works are characterized by a sensual beauty and elegance that results from his embrace of the photographic image’s inherent uncertainties and potential.
Untitled (2011-15) will be presented in the North Gallery and Still Life (2013-16) in the South Gallery. Of these two new works, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh has written: In a dialectical constellation of extreme opposites, James Coleman’s two new works, Still Life and Untitled, seem to contemplate the origins and the present currency, the alpha and the omega of representation. Still Life stages a singular, live poppy plant, whose merely microscopically perceptible biological life is traced in a larger than life size filmic projection, as though returning to one of the origins of aesthetic desire, to depict nature, and convey its miraculous operations mimetically. Not accidentally, the poppy as the chosen plant, equally embodies the biological specimen of the flower that has represented the desire for the dream and trance in Western European culture. Its counterpart, Untitled, in utter reversal of the still life structure, is based on a film clip the artist recorded when studying the rotations of a carousel and the screams and gestures of the inhabitants of its flying chairs. While seemingly a futurist celebration of machinic movement and joyful abandon, the clip is actually subjected to a rigorously structured pattern of programmed repetition, accompanied by an even more ominous enforcement of circular sound, the endless repetition of an unidentifiable, yet uncannily familiar menacing sonoric pattern.
Documenta 11 Project (1998-2000), a video installation, will be shown in the space adjacent to the South Gallery. The work explores the liminal state between what appears recognizable and what is intangible, engaging the viewer’s desire to assign language and meaning to form, resisting our expectations to discern and comprehend what we see while engaging us on the threshold of this “equivocation of an image”. Concurrently on view will be a selection of seminal early films – ‘Projected Images’. Made during Coleman’s two decades working and studying in Milan, these works consist of a single take, often in static shots, meditating on a prosaic subject where we can discern the foundations of Coleman’s explorations of the still and moving image. These works of the late 60s and seventies — originally filmed on 8mm/Super 8mm films, and later transferred to 16mm — will be shown on rotation over the course of the exhibition and include: Pheasant, Work Apron, Clock, La Valle della Morte, and Skull. A schedule for the films will be available during the exhibition.
Working Arrangement- horoscopus, is a project filmed in 2004 which has been in development. Comprised of 8 different screens projected simultaneously, it will be presented in the Project Room situated on the Third Floor of the gallery.
James Coleman invited eight actors to improvise from a theatrical text based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The actors were requested to remain in their designated character roles during the entire recorded performance — including scenes on and off-stage. All of the scenes, both on and off stage, were filmed on a continuous basis using “button” cameras placed on the body of each actor, including in and on eye glasses, clothing, etc. The staging of the performances and the theatrical texts are thus equally improvised.
Working Arrangement horoscopus (2004) is part of a larger project in development. Versions of this work have been previously exhibited at Chiado Museum, Lisbon (2004) and The Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin Contemporary (2011).