Critics’ Picks

Installation view, 2006.

Installation view, 2006.

Paris

Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom

Jousse Entreprise | 6 rue Saint-Claude
6 rue Saint-Claude
October 21–November 25, 2006

Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom’s black Formica structures, situated within a cohesive environment of light and sound, completely transform this gallery. For the installation, organized by Heidi Fichtner, the walls and ceiling have been painted black, allowing the tangible darkness of the work to fill the space. The title of the installation—For I Was like One Dead, like a Small Ghost, a Little Cold Air Wandering and Lost—is taken from that of an Edith Sitwell poem, but the work itself was conceived as a potential set for Luigi de Rossi’s 1647 Baroque opera based on the myth of Orpheus. Gonzalez and Russom are also conscious of Samhain, the Celtic festival that marks the annual transition from the light half of the year to the dark, and the artists timed the opening of the exhibition, their first in Catholic-leaning France, so that it occurred between the autumnal equinox and the pagan holiday. A small stage, set with an archway emanating cold, fluorescent light, presides over the rest of the work, providing a focal point for the viewer’s meditative gaze and circumambulations. While the slick sculptures seem lonely and severe, sound permeates the installation, functioning as the impossibly perfect lyre, drawing viewers in and holding them in limbo.