Critics’ Picks

View of “Patricia L. Boyd: Us,” 2017.

View of “Patricia L. Boyd: Us,” 2017.


Patricia L. Boyd

4 Eros House Le Bourgeois
January 28–March 11, 2017

Patricia L. Boyd works in various media, including photography and film. Each new work is executed according to a formula conceived in response to a sociopolitical situation. Nothing, however, is reducible to any obvious logic. An earlier video (Carl dis/ assembling w/ self, 2013) was made by giving a camera to a mechanic and asking him to take apart an engine using one hand while filming himself with the other. The outcome is a jolting portrait of strained efficiency, resembling a verité remake of Richard Serra’s Hand Catching Lead, 1968.

In this new show, evidence of the work’s making appears as creases in the four large-scale photograms she has mounted on the gallery walls. They were made by briefly exposing large sheets of photographic paper while pressing them up against the gallery’s shop-front windows, onto which short phrases—as in La Peuple! and Le Bourgeois French & Mediterranean, both 2017—have been applied in a vintage font and highlighted by a scalloped pattern. The results, cut up and reassembled, suggest an old black-and-white credits sequence. Blurring and tonal modulation caused by the movements of the unwieldy sheets and their varied exposure to the outside streetlight heighten their resemblance to stills from a cheap, murky exploitation film.

The fragments of text play with the name of the gallery, formerly a restaurant also called Le Bourgeois. The restaurant lost its license after neighbors accused the regulars of fighting, fucking, and defecating on the pavement outside.