Critics’ Picks

View of “David Maljkovic: Out of Projection,” 2015.

New York

David Maljkovic

Metro Pictures
519 West 24th Street
June 4–July 31

Three works in David Maljkovic’s current show share the title Out of Projection: Two ink-jet-on-aluminum collages, both 2009/2014, and an HD video, 2009–14, depict retired Peugeot workers at a test track, milling around prototypes that look at once flamboyantly futuristic and hopelessly outdated. These works are set against wallpaper that reproduces a sparse view of Maljkovic’s 2014 exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, whose interior is similar enough to Metro Pictures’s that the skewed black-and-white floor-to-ceiling images are mildly disorienting. More than producing a simple vertiginous effect, the installation poses questions with wider purchase: What happens when an artist’s work moves from institution to gallery? What is the purpose of literally transposing new works (for Maljkovic, this descriptor seems perpetually uncertain) onto past exhibitions?

Compounding this ambiguous status of artworks and documentation, a slide presentation titled In Low Resolution, 2014, shows images from the artist’s archive with some areas reduced to blocks of oversize pixels. It’s reminiscent of the televised censoring of nude bodies, a process of obfuscation that also tantalizes. Among the eighty slides are images of the Peugeot prototypes, along with production cars bearing indecipherable interventions. A hatchback has what appear to be round gray blocks adjacent to its wheels, but the indeterminacy of the rendering makes it difficult to distinguish impediment from improvement. It’s a compelling analogy for Maljkovic’s process-based critique of memory and historical narrative, in which the refusal to come to a conclusion is both an acutely political choice and a significant source of vitality.