Critics’ Picks

View of “Interview(s),” 2012–13.

View of “Interview(s),” 2012–13.


Heman Chong and Anthony Marcellini

Wilkinson Gallery
50-58 Vyner Street
November 24, 2012–January 27, 2013

For their collaborative exhibition, “Interview(s),” Heman Chong and Anthony Marcellini continue a close dialogue, one primarily sustained over Skype since 2005. Formalizing a set of seven assumptions written by the two about “the social life of objects,” which were reprinted as the press release, each artist used these premises as constraints in separately producing or acquiring a series of one hundred items over four months. During the week prior to the exhibition’s opening, Chong and Marcellini combined their mutual collections across the surface of eight long, mirrored tabletops arranged in four diagonal rows on the second floor of the gallery. The objects range in nature and function: Some are playful—a small black plastic octopus and an oversize artificial banana peel—while others are literary: a copy of Haruki Murakami’s novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, for instance. On another table rests a crumpled piece of paper, which is placed atop a pile of oversize copper paper clips that, as a writer’s accessories, indicate the text-production process central to both Chong and Marcellini’s practices.

Color is an apparent theme in this interrogative exchange; for instance, most of the found artifacts are brightly colored, such as a yellow billiard ball, positioned adjacent to a red plastic coffee mug and a small, blue, glazed ceramic disk (with unidentifiable purpose). Relationships between primary and secondary colors are formed in the encounter between these everyday articles and the small-scale paintings on canvas that are sporadically arranged in stacks of two and three throughout the show. (These are also possible references to Chong’s 2010–11 paintings which reinterpret book jacket covers). A comparable visual dialogue takes place between the expanse of mirrored surfaces and the skylights above, resulting in a literal chain of reflections that suggest these conversational representations are suspended in an infinite reciprocity.