Critics’ Picks

Terence Koh, Untitled, 2006.

Los Angeles

“A Lover's Discourse”

Peres Projects
2766 South La Cienega Blvd
February 18–March 25, 2006

In A Lover’s Discourse, Roland Barthes demonstrates how “the amorous subject has no system of sure signs at his disposal.” Presenting photographs, sculpture, and video by six international artists, curator Dean Sameshima, an artist himself, offers an image repertoire that seems to tease out such uncertainty. Taking advantage of the split-level gallery, Sameshima orchestrates a psychological space through an arrangement of images and objects that are at once kinky and familiar. Upstairs, the work is tight and approachable. The parallel black monoliths of Terence Koh’s Untitled, 2006, seem a totem to some unknowable drama. Heinz Peter Knes’s Boy Downtown, 2005, depicts an alienated young boy fixed in a closeted gaze; the image belongs to a series of photographs that expose similarly affected adolescents suspended in pregnant moments. Downstairs, Sameshima has placed slightly more transgressive works like Marcos Rosales’s video Song For a Righteous Revolution, 2001, and three Nobuyoshi Araki photographs, all titled Bondage Copy, 2004/2005. But the two spaces are not at odds; hung from the lower-level ceiling, Rosales’s knotted, black sculpture, Untitled (Macramé Sculpture #4), 2006, literally links the two floors together. The form, which evokes fishnet, whips, and sex swings, penetrates a small hole in the ceiling/floor and anchors itself to the upstairs floor and one wall. These clinging feelers force the viewer to weave around the piece in order to view other works. As a whole, Sameshima’s discourse tactfully speaks of unresolved signs and the fragments of love.