Critics’ Picks

View of “I want you to live in my city,” 2017.

View of “I want you to live in my city,” 2017.


Gina Folly

Ermes-Ermes | Vienna
Linke Wienzeile 36/1C
March 3–May 3, 2017

Gina Folly’s latest, uncanny exhibition, “I want you to live in my city,” is a simple but evocative show that suits this gallery’s new space, a former stable in the courtyard of a prestigious building. Here, Folly produces an intimate environment: Five small projections (Basic Needs I, II, III, IV, and V, all 2017) are each placed in a cardboard shipping carton on the ground. Like houses, the boxes have walls and floors, permeated by air and equipped with a lock that offers protection from the outside world. Strewn about the space, stray keys are embellished with found objects, such as a bone, a stone, and a hook.

The looped videos describe a poetry of everyday life––one might think in a way similar to Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson (2016). An open window swings back and forth, creating unexpected refractions of light; two kittens in a basket evoke the idea of a domestic hideaway; a close-up of hands that play with a rubber band conjures a playful childhood moment; feet immersed in water craft a cathartic pause; the face of a Buddha in the window of a bar brings to mind religious and spiritual considerations. These are pearls of short-term memories lacking solidity, as echoed by the precariousness suggested by the boxes. The confrontation between public and private space remains a constant in the research of this artist, who takes an ever-curious view of ordinary reality.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.