Critics’ Picks

Trisha Baga, The Voice, 2017, 3-D video, color, sound, 25 minutes and 22 seconds. Installation view.

Los Angeles

Trisha Baga

356 S. Mission Rd.
356 South Mission Road
January 27–March 19

Trisha Baga’s “Biologue” opens with a row of store-bought lenticular prints of cute animals and fruit—puppies, white tigers, watermelons—all dabbed with rainbow impasto, in collaboration with Josefin Granqvist. The paint sits on the surface like a rock. Three video installations inside a darkened gallery make a similar joke about depth and illusion, perspective, and objecthood: For example, in Virhanka Trail (all works 2017), footage of tourists walking up sand dunes is projected over papier-mâché boulders and craft-paper mountains. In a series of wall panels these same scenes, overlaid with drawings of Photoshop dialogue boxes, are rendered via the medium of “seeds on foam”—a textured, pointillist range of yellows and browns, eager to germinate.

Baga would bring it all back to biology, putting the determinism of stereo vision into relief against the phototropism of growing plants. If three-dimensional cinema seems like a novel form of light, we clearly ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This deeper point is made in the main 3-D video, The Voice—incidentally, the only one without accompanying props. The artist here finds a metaphor for human vision in mitosis, where routine reproduction carries the risk of error. Racking between scenes of obvious physical depth—boulders in the desert, escalators in the mall, a crumpled newspaper digitally blotted with chewed-up gum—Baga’s Adobe Suite notches the picture plane into distinct layers where trackpad doodles, captions, and 2-D shots jibe and break with 3-D footage. A drawing of a hole hovers above the video’s moving picture, closer than the creosote passing in the foreground, while the audio yowls with cats in heat.