Critics’ Picks

Scene 9 from Vertical Sliding, 2001.


Jonas Dahlberg

Milch Gallery
2 - 10 Tinworth Street
June 22–July 29

Jonas Dahlberg spent two years designing, building, and filming the architectural models that feature in his video installation Untitled (Vertical Sliding/Horizontal Sliding). Time well spent: It’s a deceptively simple yet mesmerizing work. Two freestanding projection screens show monochrome video sequences: In one, the camera seems to track horizontally, revealing eerie vistas into suites of empty rooms; in the other, it descends miraculously from floor to floor, visiting a seemingly endless succession of corridors, each different, but each decorated with the same faded floral paper. The secret? Dahlberg’s models follow the panoptic principle: The camera is not moving laterally but rotating. Sure, using models has its precedents; but that shouldn’t mar one’s enjoyment of this work’s intelligence or its ambiguous atmosphere, poised somewhere between lyrical reverie and creeping paranoia.