Kathy Noble

  • View of “Yto Barrada,” 2015. Photo: Damian Griffiths.

    Yto Barrada

    What does it mean to be fake? The word immediately conjures negative terms used to describe a state of deception or untruth, an assertion that is inauthentic, unreal, perhaps even a lie. The French equivalent, faux—which also, of course, registers in English—was used repeatedly by Yto Barrada in her exhibition “Faux Guide.” The show was, quite literally, a “fake guide” through actual, probable, and fictional histories of an area of Morocco that lies between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert—once the floor of an ancient ocean, described by the gallery text as an “El Dorado

  • Ydessa Hendeles, From her wooden sleep . . . (detail), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Mark Blower.

    Ydessa Hendeles

    As I entered Ydessa Hendeles’s installation From her wooden sleep . . . , 2015, I instantly became extremely anxious. I was equally entranced. The darkened theater space of the ICA was filled with 150 wooden artist’s mannequins—from miniature, doll-size figures to adult-human scale, dating from 1520 to 1930—collected by Hendeles over the past twenty years. Most were seated on rows of low oak pews designed for children, their backs turned as they looked toward a lone beech and steel figure, with an easel holding a portrait of a man to its right. On either side of this figure were four

  • View of “Sorry for the Wait,” 2015.
    picks May 26, 2015

    Frances Stark

    “Bitch, I don’t give a fuck about you, or anything that you do,” lyrics from Big Sean’s “I Don’t Fuck with You,” blared out of Frances Stark’s exhibition “Sorry for the wait.” The four videos in Poets On the Pyre (I–IV), 2015, were displayed on monitors alongside images of signposts topped with the words “CLEVER” and “STUPID”—each designed to enable reversible reading as the other. The videos presented material collated on Stark’s Instagram, @therealstarkiller. This included a myriad of cultural imagery, both high- and lowbrow: art classics such as Isabelle Graw’s High Price, 2010; Mike Kelley’s

  • Nil Yalter, Rahime, Kurdish Woman from Turkey (detail), 1979, mixed media, dimensions variable.

    Nil Yalter

    Can a body be institutionalized? The human mind certainly can. And what the mind absorbs the body enacts, as it is corralled by the social structures and physical architectures it inhabits. Paris-based Turkish artist Nil Yalter has created a body of work over the past forty years that addresses this idea in relationship to the politics of affect––specifically examining the experiences of women who exist on society’s margins, such as immigrants and prisoners. Her first solo exhibition in London presented three early works from the 1970s: La Roquette, Prison de Femmes, 1974; Harem, 1979; and

  • Rachel Reupke, Letter of Complaint, 2015, HD video, color and black-and-white, sound, 10 minutes.

    Rachel Reupke

    “Dear Sir or Madam: It has come to my attention that I am paid less than the man next to me on the assembly line,” states the narrator’s voice in Rachel Reupke’s latest video, Letter of Complaint, 2015, a ten-minute piece commissioned by Cubitt. The letter of complaint can be considered an art form in its own right; its subject matter can range from the deeply serious to the trivial. Expressing one’s exasperation, frustration, disappointment, or anger in this constricted format is a tricky task. Inspired by correspondence found in various UK archives, Reupke’s work considers this act of writing

  • Senga Nengudi, R.S.V.P. Reverie “Scribe,” 2014, nylon mesh, sand, found metals, 91 × 54 × 67". From the series “R.S.V.P.,” 1976–.

    Senga Nengudi

    Around the bottom edge where pristine white gallery walls meet buffed concrete, Senga Nengudi spread thin strips of sand, forming an alternative baseboard, as if the earth were seeping up into the room. From the walls hung sculptures from the series “R.S.V.P.,” 1976–, formed of sheer panty hose in tones ranging from pale cream to dark brown, with a little dark green, white, and black. Some of these malleable, visceral, yet delicate sculptures were stretched across corners—one, Internal I, 1972/2014, monumentally from floor to ceiling in a gallery of its own, as if marking a territory. The

  • James Richards, Raking Light, 2014, digital video, black-and-white and color, sound, 7 minutes 5 seconds. Installation view, Cabinet Gallery, London.


    JAMES RICHARDS'S seven-minute video Raking Light, 2014, begins with a slow panning shot of a glass desk. Bright sunlight reflects off the camera lens and the desktop, which appears to be embossed with a pattern of fingerprints. In fact, this surface texture is neither deliberate nor decorative. It is, however, entirely bodily in its making: The pattern is the accumulation of daily life, formed not only from fingerprints but also, according to Richards, from dust, detritus, and semen. Shot in extreme close-up, the fingerprint whorls are unambiguously apparent—these are not just graphic traces

  • View of “Marc Camille Chaimowicz,” 2014. Foreground: Manfred Pernice, Parkstück 6, 2010. Background: Marc Camille Chaimowicz, works individually titled and dated.

    Marc Camille Chaimowicz

    Marc Camille Chaimowicz usually imagines interior spaces for human inhabitation; for the exhibition “Forty and Forty,” he instead created an environment for “free-range” canaries to inhabit. The installation incorporated two works each by Klara Liden and Manfred Pernice alongside several of his own. As I approached the gallery—situated in a stark concrete building in the courtyard of a typical Berlin Plattenbau (a kind of housing block built from prefabricated concrete slabs) in Mitte—I was drawn toward the space by the high-pitched birdsong that rang through the open door. What I

  • Haris Epaminonda, Tarahi IIII, 2007, still from a color video, 1 minute 27 seconds.


    GROWING UP IN GREEK CYPRUS in the 1980s, Berlin-based artist Haris Epaminonda thought of the Turkish side of that divided island as an unimaginable world. But, she recalls, “I somehow believed I could connect to this other world through books and the ancient ruins and relics found everywhere on the island—things that existed long before the country was to be separated.” Epaminonda could be described as a time traveler, one who roves among eras collecting such artifacts. The elements in this ever-growing trove of found images (both still and moving) and objects are recycled and reassimilated