Critics’ Picks

Marijn van Kreij, Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)—Take 16, 2008–, still from a color video, 6 minutes 30 seconds.


Marijn van Kreij

92 Hoxton Street
August 28 - October 17

Marijn van Kreij’s solo debut in London is crowded with phrases, lyrics, and images, which are multiplied in each work to demonstrate a persistence of repetition. The exhibition’s title, “The Passenger,” is borrowed from Iggy Pop’s eminently catchy 1977 song, here represented by a silent karaoke video clip wherein only its chorus (LA LA LA) is displayed in a hypnotic twelve-second loop. For Untitled (Messages), 2009, the artist provides a photocopier so that viewers can create their own unlimited edition of a sheet of colored paper that features linguistically related remarks––one taken from Fluxus artist Tomas Schmit, the other from hip-hop artist MF Doom. Here, one’s participation as both maker and consumer affects the materiality of the work; its quality naturally degrades the more successful and popular it is. The copy-of-a-copy motif is also evinced in Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)—Take 16, 2008–, which consists of video of a live Neil Young performance that van Kreij re-records off a monitor each time the work is exhibited. Despite the project's only being a year old, the process thus far has already obliterated the recognition of both sound and image.

A small floor sculpture concretely and humorously sums up the artist’s display of the impossibility of flawless duplication. An orange is placed before a hand mirror, but rather than allowing the reflection to stand on its own, the artist completes it with a fake orange, with all its handmade imperfections, on the other side. In van Kreij’s work, copies never attempt to live up to the original, existing assuredly on their own.