Patricia Maloney

  • picks May 24, 2011

    Shahzia Sikander

    The standout works of Shahzia Sikander’s latest exhibition are two 2010 videos made in collaboration with the musician Du Yun: the digital animation The Last Post and the video Gossamer, which features Du Yun performing. The show also includes some of her animations, videos, and ink and gouache drawings from the past eight years. Collectively, the works offer a concentrated study into the gestures, forms, and iconography that recur in Sikander’s work, especially the layering of images that foils efforts to fix singular meaning to individual forms. In The Last Post, sound is utilized to its best

  • picks March 24, 2011

    Futurefarmers

    Charles and Ray Eames’s 1977 short film Powers of Ten takes viewers to either end of the then viewable universe, from the edge of the cosmos to a proton in the nucleus of a carbon atom. The film’s expansion and contraction of scale pivots around a couple lying on a picnic blanket, seen from a one-meter distance. This image serves as a central visual metaphor for the research residency of the Bay Area–based collective Futurefarmers (artists Amy Franceschini and Michael Swaine) and their corresponding slate of public programs, “A Variation on the Powers of Ten,” presented through the UC Berkeley

  • picks November 19, 2009

    Omer Fast

    Omer Fast’s Nostalgia, 2009, produced by the South London Gallery, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Nationalgalerie at the Hamburger Bahnhof, is a video installation in three parts. The first depicts a man building a trap in the woods while in voice-over another man speaks to his life as a former child soldier, segueing into an incidental description of the trap’s construction. In the next video, two actors take up the story in the form of an interview that loops through conversations about the trap, the man’s quest for asylum, and fractured memory of his childhood, as well as the fact that the

  • interviews September 30, 2009

    Lisa Anne Auerbach

    In the months leading up to the public opening of Nottingham Contemporary on November 14, a series of projects have been commissioned throughout the city and, more recently, in the street-level windows of the Caruso St John–designed kunsthalle. Here, the Los Angeles–based artist Lisa Anne Auerbach discusses her installation, which premiered on September 12.

    I’VE INSTALLED SWEATERS with matching skirts in the windows of Nottingham Contemporary, and a photomural of me wearing each of them. These works are influenced by the radical history of Nottingham, specifically the Luddite rebellion, during

  • picks September 04, 2009

    Jamie Vasta, Nicholas Pye, and Sheila Pye

    The San Francisco–based artist Jamie Vasta and the Toronto-based husband-and-wife team Nicholas and Sheila Pye each tell stories of mythical female figures whose voices provide agency for death. In the Pyes’ video Loudly, Death Unties, 2007, a small girl in patent-leather shoes represents a banshee—a spirit from Celtic folklore whose wailing presence heralds imminent death. The child burrows into a woodland cottage, holding a man and woman (played by the artists) captive in a sparsely furnished room. A violin’s mournful tune symbolizes the banshee’s wail. In one wonderful, uncertain moment, the

  • picks August 16, 2009

    Cassandra C. Jones

    Cassandra C. Jones is a taxonomist of the image; she classifies its variations, reliable patterns, and inclinations toward order. She obsessively accumulates digital and print photographs and homes in on similarly cropped, angled, or composed depictions of a particular subject. With these, she constructs digital collages that isolate and repeat an individual figure until it dissolves into line and shape, or short video loops she calls “snap-motion re-animations.” For example, in the video Single Frame Animation #10, 2009, the artist creates the illusion of a flock of geese flying in formation

  • interviews July 22, 2009

    Jessica Jackson Hutchins

    This summer, the Portland, Oregon– and New York–based sculptor Jessica Jackson Hutchins is participating in several group exhibitions, including “Dirt on Delight: Impulses That Form Clay,” which originated at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and is at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis until November 29, and “Bent,” a three-person show at the Oregon College of Art and Craft on view until August 23. Here, Hutchins talks about her practice.

    I’VE BEEN MAKING A LOT OF WORK FROM MY FURNITURE LATELY, just pulling it out of my house. Two sculptures in “Bent” are created from chairs that

  • picks May 15, 2009

    Laura Paulini and Jill Sylvia

    Laura Paulini and Jill Sylvia dissect Rosalind Krauss’s assertion that the grid is a purely optical device free from the intrusion of speech. Paulini builds her grids organically, while Sylvia dismantles them to the point of collapse. In testing the boundaries of structural integrity, they simultaneously comment on the emotional repercussions of economic free fall, relaying quiet and anxious narratives of loss, faith, and accountability.

    Sylvia uses a drafting knife to cleanly carve out the entry spaces in bookkeeping ledgers, leaving behind only a fragile lattice. The resulting filigreed objects