Critics’ Picks

Gina Folly, Youth, 2015, chromium steel, pump, green tea, 35 x 20 x 16".


Gina Folly

Ermes-Ermes | Rome
via Crescimbeni 11
October 6 - November 27

When entering Ermes-Ermes’s premises, the audience is immediately aware that the show isn’t set in an ordinary gallery but instead in the gallerist’s private residence. Artist Gina Folly responds to the venue by questioning the boundary separating the domestic sphere from the public one. Untitled (Hands) (all works cited, 2015), for instance, features stretched scans of the artist’s hand printed on polypropylene that covers three doorways in the house. This work forces spectators to cease their march, yet the transparency of the sheets of plastic attracts their voyeuristic gaze beyond them, revealing the blurry interior of two bedrooms and a kitchen. Intimate retreats designated for rest become subjected to the viewer’s imagination.

In the only accessible space of the home, the floor is covered with a peach-bisque colored carpet on which sits Youth, a steel fountain pumping green-tea-scented water. A lamp, whose light supposedly boosts serotonin levels, hangs from the ceiling for True Lights (Roma), while a photograph of a tabby cat, titled Ravel, stares at the fountain. The environment seems to be a meditative one, inducing viewers to take their time.

The adjacent balcony hides Magic Box VII, a polycarbonate box resembling a Minimalist house but which is actually a replica of a multilevel food container for monkeys used in zoos to encourage their creative and cognitive abilities. This work is visible from inside and outside the building, emphasizing the relationship between interior and exterior, between the complexity of a private life and the public representation of a subject. Engaging with the rich and concealed aspects of subjectivity, yet not completely disclosing them, the exhibition deals in questions of self-perception and the construction of a social image.