Critics’ Picks

Keren Cytter, Repulsion, 2006, still from a three-channel color video with sound, 5 minutes.

New York

“Cut”

Thierry Goldberg Gallery
109 Norfolk Street
December 1, 2007–January 6, 2008

Drawing inspiration from the multiple meanings of the word cut—a cinematographic transition, a graphic caesura, a mental hiatus—this exhibition brings together four artists who experiment with fractures and interruptions. Meredyth Sparks’s black-and-white digital scans of a photograph of Annie Beatrice Henry, the second woman electrocuted in Louisiana, in 1942, are abruptly crossed with geometric shapes and a few glittery red lines, which slash through the composition. Jonathan Hartshorn’s wall installation blends photography, drawing, and text to create an intimate atlas that merges biographical elements with found objects. Anna Parkina, a performance artist who lives in Russia, presents five works that merge Constructivism with Futurism’s parole in libertà (words in freedom); titles such as Wrong Bed Bugs 1 and The Dog Does Go into the Hole for the Rat (both works 2006) add a touch of absurdity to the rigid compositions. The exhibition culminates in Repulsion, 2006, a three-channel video installation by Israeli artist Keren Cytter. This intense and schizophrenic work is a direct reference to Roman Polanski’s 1965 psychological thriller of the same name. In Cytter’s remake, three short videos share the same plot, although the three actors exchange roles: The killer becomes the witness, who subsequently plays the victim. Here, Cytter deploys her favorite tools—repetition, voice-over, and a pulsating montage—to strong effect, generating strident juxtapositions and enabling in the viewer a wealth of associations. Throughout the exhibition, narratives are interrupted, fragmented, and extracted from their original contexts, proffering an experience marked by sudden ruptures and impulsive accelerations.