Critics’ Picks

View of “Mark Geffriaud,” 2009.

View of “Mark Geffriaud,” 2009.


Mark Geffriaud

gb agency
18 rue des 4 Fils
January 17–March 7, 2009

Three screens in medium-density fiberboard fold into right, obtuse, and acute angles. These strategically placed constructions prompt the viewer to imagine iterations of the gallery’s corners, and evoke the ellipses and hyperboles of non-Euclidean geometry, galvanizing perception as they disorient. Inspired by mathematician Henrì Poincaré’s La Science et l’Hypothèse (Science and Hypothesis, 1902), artist Mark Geffriaud challenges popular conceptions of absolute space by confirming that no geometry is truer, just more convenient. His screens are not partitions, but conductors that lead into multilayered readings of the works they frame.

In Cross Dissolve, 2009, a glass pane extends like a floating window over paper scattered before one of the open screens. A rectangle of light from a slide projector shimmers on its surface as though it were the hologram image of a nearby crumpled paper ball before its ruin. A shelf and bracket, cut directly from another screen, are fixed above the gaping absence of their forms in For Susan, 2009. An ink-jet print hanging over the shelf depicts a vintage photograph of a couple displaying a picture of themselves. The motif of the shelf repeats: A section of the print is cut, lifted, and taped so as to raise the paper’s bottom edge. The work brings to mind Geffriaud’s book Les Renseignements Généraux (General Information, 2007), a collection of appropriated images whose design, similar to that of encyclopedias, calls attention to an absence of text. In an adjoining room, several pages from the book are enlarged and spread across irregularly shaped panels in Table d’Orientation (Orientation Table), 2008. In Franz Kafka’s 1913 short story “Longing to Be a Red Indian,” referenced in the exhibition’s title, both the head and the neck of the galloping horse disappear as its rider is carried simultaneously forward and backward in time and space. Similarly, Geffriaud reminds viewers that space and time only exist for the movement of the objects inhabiting them.