Critics’ Picks

Erika Vogt, Geometric Persecution, 2010, color video, 15 minutes. Installation view.

Los Angeles

Erika Vogt

Overduin & Co.
6693 Sunset Boulevard
September 12–October 23

“Geometric Persecution,” the title of Erika Vogt’s exhibition, is a neologism. Even so, there is something that rings familiar and true when one considers how or why geometry—that fundamental system of knowledge inherited from Euclid—might be a subject worthy of retribution. Vogt’s title offers another way to describe the more or less timeless pursuit of pictorial representation and those tendencies toward abstraction that have historically sought to undermine the supremacy of geometric order as the frame through which all experience is shaped. Thus, the video, drawings, and sculptural objects that make up this exhibition sit uncomfortably with their roles as mediators between the world they inhabit and the world they represent.

A video that shares the show’s title sits at the exhibition’s conceptual center. In it, a lone wayfarer travels through an abandoned set of landscapes and employs magic walking sticks and rusted devices and tools to assist her in her travels. An accumulation of the same painted sticks and instruments from the video makes its way into the exhibition space. The objects are affixed with stiffened handles for visitors to pick up and engage as they navigate their own viewing experience. These proplike aids come in handy, as the projection screen—painted in two high-gloss shades of gray—reflects the light of the projector back outward to further obscure the video’s content. The processes of mediation become visible here, and, as in much of Vogt’s previous work, there is a refreshing lack of fixity in the images she assembles and disassembles, composes and decomposes.