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ON SITE

Sue de Beer’s The Ghosts

Sue de Beer, The Ghosts, 2011, color two-channel video, pillows, carpet, screen. Installation view, Park Avenue Armory, New York. Photo: James Ewing.

NO ONE EVER SEEMS TO EXIST entirely in the present in the videos of Sue de Beer. From the eighteenth-century Puritan hunched over a 1960s Brion Gysin Dreamachine in The Quickening, 2006, to the teen rocker daydreaming about a future high school student’s musical reveries in Hans and Grete, 2002–2003, her characters live in a kind of temporal purgatory. It therefore should have seemed almost inevitable that de Beer would make a work called The Ghosts. Commissioned by Art Production Fund and debuted at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in February, the two-channel video installation is her most substantial project since 2007’s Permanent Revolution and preceded “Depiction of a Star Obscured by Another Figure,” an exhibition of sculptural pieces at Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea that closed last month. The plot of the video, as usual, is sketchy. A hypnotist (played by artist Jutta

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