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tom moody

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Memo to Gary Hill
Re: Your Show at Barbara Gladstone

The giant CGI animatronic eagle angrily flapping its wings and making power lines crack like bullwhips in multi-channel surround sound appeals on some goofy level, but the lake of crude oil you placed in front of it with the gold bullion in the center takes us into the realm of metaphor fatigue. Thanks for telling us via the press release that the piece was about the US occupation of the Middle East. The guard in the gallery barking at people when they get near the work is not too cool, though. Especially when it's a sheet of black, glassy-smooth oil in a semi-lit room that you might want to look at closely, if for no other reason than to see if it's as much like Noriyuki Haraguchi's work as it seems.

And if you must place telescopes around the space, you might want to aim them at something besides those custom gold coins of your grimacing face "undergoing fictive scenes of torture" that are placed on spotlit sculpture stands in the same room--it seems redundant, and not in a good way. Again, it's nice to have the press release handy to tell us that your installation, "through its use of the metaphor of market exchange, distances the true act of brutality, even when the acts of surveillance bring it so close the viewer's body." We're worried about the war, too, and thankful that a festival artist such as yourself has a big gallery to get the message out.

Update: Breaking: The real reason for the guard was that gold bullion--one of the ingots was just stolen from the Fondation Cartier version of this piece. See the comments to this post--thanks, James.

- tom moody 2-04-2007 10:40 pm [link]