Critics’ Picks

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall, Never Stop Dancing, 2017, slip-cast porcelain, fishing wire, dimensions variable.

New York

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall

56 Bogart Street
January 6–February 12, 2017

The gallery feels still. Hanging from the ceiling are forty-nine globes, radiant with gently diffused light. Arranged in impossible orbits and strung with fishing wire, the installation is akin to a science-class diorama of an unknown solar system, illuminated by the glare of unknown suns. Little porcelain squares, unglazed and matte white, envelop the surfaces of these imperfect orbs. They are like the mirrored fragments of disco balls but utterly drained of glimmer and sparkle—eyes that once flickered and flashed now overcast, blind.

In Never Stop Dancing, 2017, artist and activist Phoenix Lindsey-Hall pays tribute to the forty-nine lives lost in the Pulse massacre that took place in Orlando last June. Answering the violence of this event with love and poetry, the artist literally recasts this staple of nightclub décor as a mute witness to passion, cruelty, and death. Her monochromatic warped slip-cast objects of mourning fail to capture the sensuality and ecstasy of nightlife. They are like dying stars, trapped in darkness and forced into silent rhythms. On the gallery’s eastern wall is an emphatic elegy written in white capital letters against a black ground. In an ominous portent of joy that becomes fear, the artist writes, IN THE DISTANCE A DRUM POUNDS OUT / AGAINST THE RHYTHM, / OFF BEAT AND OUT OF KEY. Lindsey-Hall’s installation is as hushed as the suffocating calm of outer space. This sepulcher—cold because of what it memorializes, yet warm by the artist’s scrupulous labor—is what remains after the dancing has ended.