new-york

Keith Sonnier

Leo Castelli Gallery Downtown

Even though I’m aware of his sizable reputation for other things, I consider James Collins’s early flocking pieces his best. Sympathetic to Sonnier’s use of videos as a “historyless” medium par excellence, I’ve never understood what he’s about. Respected but not understood. Perhaps it’s my bias against the general tedium of video in a gallery situation, which few videos except, say, Wegman’s stories, Serra’s game theories, or Acconci’s confessions avoid. I thought Sonnier used video more to generate static images—as a present-day Rosenquist of video. Sonnier’s video with its fragmentary juxtapositions of sliced, tinted, positized, negatized elements seems a way of generating beautiful visuals. For this reason, I can only watch bits. The bits of Animation 1 I saw look and sound like a self-orchestration of what appeared to be a computer print-out screen; I thought it beautiful, not demanding.

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