Spencer Finch, Graham Gussin, Gabriel Lester, Takeshi Murata, and Christian Tomaszewski
Fear Minus One focuses on five artists who use preexisting films as their source, particularly in this selection, movies that have a sense of foreboding or fear as part of their dynamic. Through their interaction with the original its form is changed, be it as the result of translation, transcription, editing or recreation, but remains strongly referenced in the final piece. Collectively these five individual works transform the gallery into a site for the imagination, where the relationship between narrative and image can be examined and the creation of illusion explored.
Spencer Finch’s West (Sunset in my motel room, Monument Valley, February 26, 2007, 5:36 – 6:06 pm) uses the light from nine video monitors, which display a changing selection of stills from John Ford’s 1956 epic and violent Western The Searchers. The gallery bathed in this reflected light is transformed from day to night exactly mimicking, over a 30-minute period, the color and intensity of the fading twilight. Graham Gussin’s Dark Light Piece, Night of the Living Dead (Luminosity Wave Form) uses the entire film, Night of the Living Dead (1968), as seen through a light-measuring screen used on edit suites. This translation turns the images into a kind of ectoplasmic landscape, through which the movement of the camera and barely recognizable figures become enhanced yet are abstracted. Gabriel Lester similarly reworks Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (1974) in the form of a computer controlled light installation. 50 individual lights bathe an open sided room in a range of colors and hues that evoke the moods and scenes of the film as its soundtrack plays in its entirety. Takeshi Murata twists and stretches sequences of the classic Italian horror movie Black Sunday (1960) using a technique he calls “VideoSlime.” Each frame is digitally rendered sifting black and white images through graduations of abstraction in fluid motion while hyping up the menace redolent through out the film. Christian Tomaszewski has previously reconstructed parts of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986) in real space: exploring the ability of architectural fragments to convey dramatic narrative. Through his installations he superimposes two different structures, the one belonging to the film and the one of the architecture, which together become a third reality. For Fear Minus One he turns his attention to Giulio Berruti’s Killer Nun (1978).
Spencer Finch was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1962, and lives and works in Brooklyn. He has had solo exhibitions at: MASS Moca; ArtPace, San Antonio; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford. Graham Gussin was born in London in 1960 where he lives and works. He has had solo shows at: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and Tate Britain London. Gabriel Lester was born in Amsterdam in 1972 where he lives and works. He has had solo exhibitions at: SMBA, Amsterdam; Bloomberg Space, London; Boniers Konsthal, Stockholm; Glucksman Gallery, Cork; and Gallery Fons Welters, Amsterdam. Takeshi Murata was born in Chicago in 1974 and lives and works in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at: Layr Wuestenhagen Contemporary, Vienna; Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA; Gallery Sora, Tokyo, Japan; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; The Kitchen, New York, and The Reliance, London. Christian Tomaszewski was born in Gdansk, Poland in 1971, and lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited at: Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; the First Bienniale of Polish Art, Lodz; the Bronx Museum of Art, New York; Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice; Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Mar; and Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz.