Critics’ Picks

Eight, 2001.


Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler

Galerie Vera Munro
Heilwigstrasse 64
September 24–November 29

Texas-based artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler are well known on the international circuit for their photographic and moving-image projects, which explore, and often dismantle, narrative and architectural structures. Their first major Hamburg show includes a model of a trailer, three videos, and numerous photos that look like production stills. The plots of the videos are minimal and circular: In Eight, 2001, for example, a little girl looks out her window onto a rainy night. The room dissolves, and the girl is left in her backyard, where a festively bedecked table stands in the pouring rain. As she cuts herself a piece of sodden birthday cake, the camera retreats inside, where the child is seen once again at her window, and the scenario repeats itself. Emulating Hitchcock, Hubbard and Birchler build sets with mobile walls, so that their camera can move seamlessly from interior to exterior. These movements in space, which elide architectural borders, seem analogous to the works' temporal fluidity: Beginning and end are done away with while a looping plotline drives the narrative into an abyss.

Translated from German by Emily Speers Mears.