Critics’ Picks

White Balance (to think is to forget differences), 2002.

New York

François Bucher

Location One
26 Greene Street
January 10–March 2, 2002

Like a surprising number of artworks that respond to the World Trade Center attacks, François Bucher’s video project White Balance (to think is to forget differences), 2001–2002, was conceived and partially produced before September 11. A fast-moving collage of sight and sound, it focuses broadly on the topic of power and privilege by forcing the collision of disparate forms of public discourse. Snippets of political speech, Hollywood promotional hype, street interviews, radio commentary, and various other sound fragments are sampled and loosely stitched together with both found visual material and new footage. Bucher, an artist-in-residence at Location One (which is situated at a relatively short remove from Ground Zero), took to the streets and recorded people doing what they often seem to do in moments of crisis: haggling over prices for memorabilia while simultaneously searching for a way to understand and come to terms with the tragedy. White Balance may not offer any answers, but it does evoke a number of ways of thinking about the fraught search for meaning that has unfolded in the United States in the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center.