Critics’ Picks

View of “Gary Hill: Depth Charge,” 2015.

View of “Gary Hill: Depth Charge,” 2015.


Gary Hill

Lia Rumma | Milan
Via Stilicone 19, 20154
February 26–April 30, 2015

Visitors entering the gallery’s ground floor of Gary Hill’s exhibition encounter a play of projections on a wall for the work Choir Box, 2015. As the projections and the wall are practically the same color, the building’s structure becomes the work’s subject. This would seem to create an ambiguous spatial-temporal breakthrough, though that turns out to be a hermetic perception. In reality, the walls in the projections are those of the artist’s studio, which seem to overlap thanks to the rapid and vibrant sequence of images displayed. Composed of numerous pieces, this exhibition unfolds from here throughout the gallery’s three floors, with the second level possessing considerable visual impact.

An idyllic series of blue waves articulates the figure of a musician playing an electric guitar in the projection work Depth Charge, 2009–12. On closer inspection it’s revealed to be jazz guitarist Bill Frisell playing Edgar Varèse’s Un Grand Sommeil noir (A Big Black Sleep). Another noteworthy work is the video Pacifier, 2014, in which a bomb traverses across several monitors in the gallery before blowing up in the last one with an explosion that shatters into thousands of sharp, icy pieces. Elsewhere, Learning Curve (Still Point), 1993, is made up of a five-meter-long tilted table, built to emphasize different perspectives at each end. At one end, a five-inch-tall micromonitor transmits a looped image of a perfect wave, the type surfers spend their entire lives pursuing, but easily generated by technology here.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.