Anthony Hawley

  • picks September 08, 2020

    Ina Archer

    Murmurs of old Hollywood echo across the gallery in Ina Archer’s first solo exhibition here. But two entrancing noises stand out—a tolling bell and a percussive snap, which almost resembles a synth drumbeat. The former hails from a scene in the film Gone with the Wind (1939), when a pair of enslaved young men ring a giant bell signaling the end of day in the cotton fields. The latter, stretched out and on a loop, is the sound of Sidney Poitier slapping a “genteel” bigot across the face in In the Heat of the Night (1967).

    Archer masterfully samples America’s racist history in film and print while

  • picks July 22, 2020

    Daniel Canogar

    Daniel Canogar’s sinuous, ripple-like sculptures emanate colorful LED light in “Billow,” his solo exhibition here. It’s no accident that his bending architectural forms mimic hills, valleys, and mountains: Their slumbering shapes make the works’ cascading waves all the more hypnotic. As time passes, unexpected color shifts arise. Rich Prussian blues turn turquoise, only to be invaded by swaths of lemon yellow. Periodically, eroded alphabets also course along their curves, mingling with abstracted tints and tones. Outside bitforms gallery’s windows, passing cloud formations cause subtle modifications

  • picks June 01, 2020

    Barbara Hammer

    Celluloid decays, as do we. Nowhere is this more perceptible than in Barbara Hammer’s film Sanctus, 1990, a symphonic arrangement of rephotographed, moving X-rays stitched together. Part of the ongoing online series “In Company With,” this work was screened during the ’90s installment of a program dedicated to Hammer’s filmography. In it, liquids pass through organs; muscles flex around bones; skeletons shave faces and touch surfaces barely visible. Sanctus puts its viewers deep inside the human corpus; everything appears as though it were a delicate membrane—be it a bladder, tissue, or the

  • picks April 16, 2020

    Josephine Meckseper

    Josephine Meckseper’s film Pellea[s], 2017–18, is a loose adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1893 Symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande_,_ which features a love triangle that includes the work’s titular characters. Meckseper’s story opens on January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Pelléas here is a soldier, disoriented by having “goose-stepped” all day in the presidential parade, expressing bewilderment throughout the film in a magnetic voice-over combining operatic grandeur and cool detachment: “I’d arrived at this space of mirrored glass and infinite memories as if I were an

  • picks March 16, 2020

    Kevin Jerome Everson

    Two silent films frame Kevin Jerome Everson’s newest exhibition here. They feature a character, Derek Whitfield, ironing . . . and ironing. He never speaks, nor does he look out at the camera. The lens focuses primarily on his torso and hands working their way across a stark white bed sheet. In both films, Whitfield goes about his task using a rubber cast sculpture of an iron, made by Everson. Neither appliance has an electrical cord, emphasizing the ineffectual nature of such a repetitive endeavor.

    There’s something strikingly Kafkaesque yet incredibly tender about the way that Everson captures