Critics’ Picks

Apollinaris, 2005.

Apollinaris, 2005.


Ceal Floyer

Esther Schipper
Potsdamer Strasse 81E
September 3–November 15, 2005

Ceal Floyer makes her art out of very little, almost nothing. Basic essences, like light, water or sound, turn into something else. In Peel, 2003, she projected the eponymous Adobe Premiere tool on a white wall. Instead of artificially blending one image into another, the simple computer effect made it look as though the wall was peeling off layer by layer—the tool itself became the effect. In her smartly reductive solo debut at Esther Schipper, what we see and hear is precisely what the titles say. The film projection Apollinaris, 2005, shows nothing more than the titular beverage, the famous “queen of table waters”—or rather, the sparkling carbonated bubbles just above a glass of said water, which, radically blown up, become a spare fireworks display. In the main gallery, the sound piece ’Til I Get It Right, 2005, isolates these words from the song of the same title by Tammy Wynette and spins them as an infinite loop, which fills the space. The lyrics include the line “I'll keep on falling in love ‘til I get it right,” and the singer compares herself to a baby bird in its pathetic first attempts to fly. The feeling of continually, cyclically trying and failing expressed in the song as well as the sheer idea of a loop become both abstracted and materialized through Floyer's cutting yet poetic analysis.