Signal to Noise: Looking is Better than Feeling you
March 14, 2003
Brooklyn-based curator Astria Suparak travels the world showing experimental media, and this week she returns to L.A. with a collection of work by women. Highlights in the eclectic, often ecstatically funny show include Dara Greenwald’s Bouncing in the Corner, #36DDD (1999), which revises conceptual video artist Bruce Nauman’s sundry ‘Bouncing’ videos from the 1960s. Here, a naked woman, shot from above in low-res black and white, bounces up and down in the corner of a room, her stupendous, triple-D breasts rebounding with wild abandon; subsequent segments include rubber balls, pieces of fruit and even videotapes, all cleverly placed beneath the loudly slapping orbs of flesh. In Ann Weathersby’s Humane Restraint (2002), a woman is buried neck-deep in the sand on a beach while a male cameraman questions her. Their interplay is at once amusing and spot-on, capturing the always politicized relationship between the viewer and the viewed. Selections from Kathy High’s Everyday Problems of the Living (2002) juxtapose the artist’s musings on morbidity with shots of her puking, defecating cats enduring the everyday horrors of expulsion. Hyperbolic and hilarious, the tape still manages to suggest real angst. Interspersed throughout the films and videos are selections from Miranda July’s The Drifters (2002), a series of sound recordings made for the elevator of the Whitney Museum during last year’s Biennial. The conversations, like much of July’s work, involve uncanny moments of self-exposure and confusion, and find their edgy, almost painful humor in replicating shared experiences of embarrassment and vulnerability.
Suparak’s terrific show will set straight anyone who thinks that women’s media is on the wane.
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