Geoff Tuck reviews Maquette for Notes on Looking 10.15.11

I haven’t much time, I hesitated to visit this exhibition until yesterday and now completely regret my negligence. “Aaaaaaugh,” I cry as I type like a mad person, persuading whom I may to go see Maquette 2011-Ghosts of the Flash: Work by Matthew Anthony Stokes and Dirk Hendrikx.

The two are performance artists I suppose, who trained in corporeal dramaturgy-  in the common parlance they trained to be mimes. They performed together as “Maquette” from 1989 through 1995 in France. The work (which includes photographs, written documentation, ephemera, costume accessories and other physical remains of temporal and experientially intended performances. I’d call the installation modest: purposeful, quiet, with a suggestion rather than a force of intent, and finally confident in presentation. Stained sheets of canvas- as of stage curtain walls, hang on the gallery walls and on these are pinned the above remnants. It is a white feeling space, or perhaps better said- a buff or neutral tone. Aah-  unassuming. This is the term I sought above.


Unassuming yet shocking, at least to me who walked in unaware and expecting much less. And at first less is what I got, then I stopped and viewed one of the Super 8 films which are installed in small monitors on one wall. Oh, wow, my tiny inside mind said. Shut up top oriented super ego and let me experience this film. Two women were dancing- or it was one, but doubled at a slight delay. Her torso only was visible at first and she wore lacey, soft yet bulky garments like Victorian virgins might have worn. She descended a staircase backwards while a gentleman lay beneath.







In another room large sheepskins hang from the ceiling and the windows are blacked with rough linen curtains. On this fleece screen are shown three films, performances from the past. Rather than get in the way of seeing, the sheep wool took my vision and made it physical- a rather horrible line from an old song came to mind and finally in a good way, “Your eyes are like fingers,” the song goes, speaking of a lover. In this case I could, or wanted to, feel the act of my seeing as though my eyes were reaching out and touching the screen and, I suppose and hope, the past.



This exhibition closes today, Saturday, October 15. Many of you will be in Santa Monica anyway- to see the show at the Sam Francis Gallery at Crossroads School She Accepts the Proposition, curated by Christina Newhouse and Pam Posey and another recommendation (about which more later), and Gegam Kacherian at Rosamund Felsen and any other openings at Bergamot. GO EARLY AND STOP BY GALLERY KM.






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