Friday, June 05, 2009

Inner Space

This show is on my MUST SEE list. It's at Winkleman Gallery which is one of my favorite spaces. I hope you can make it there, too. Here's the Review from the New York Times' Ken Johnson:


‘White on White: The Pilot (just like being there)’


637 West 27th Street, Chelsea

Through June 20

Remember the space race? In the 1960s, going to the Moon and beyond was a galvanizing fantasy for millions of Americans and Russians. Now it seems a quaint artifact of a more innocent and gullible time.

In this vein, Eve Sussman and her collaborators, who go by the name Rufus Corporation, have constructed an evocative think piece: a meticulously detailed re-creation of the office of the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to go into space and to orbit Earth. After Gagarin’s death in 1968, the Soviets made his office a museum, which Ms. Sussman visited, photographed and simulated so faithfully that it looks as if the real thing — including chairs, a desk, telephones, memorabilia and fake daylight coming through sheer white curtains from a false window — had been teleported to Chelsea.

Besides being an impressive feat of realism, the installation, which looks more antique than modern to a contemporary eye, invites meditation on the aspirations and disappointments of technological progress. The title, “White on White,” refers to the proto-Minimalist, all-white painting by Kasimir Malevich, and, by extension, to the once seemingly unlimited and now apparently stymied possibilities of human evolution.

This is a surprising and intriguing turn for Ms. Sussman, who is known for her cinematic re-creation of “Las Meninas” by Velázquez and modern film version of the story “The Rape of the Sabine Women.” She plans to use the Gagarin office as a set for a futuristic film noir. That should be something to look forward to. KEN JOHNSON

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