New York

Hanne Darboven

Leo Castelli And Sperone Westwater Fischer Galleries

To tune in to Hanne Darboven’s work we must discard Oppenheim’s geometric hardware bulging with emotions, forget his ethical agonizing over the slow depletion of his potential through each formalized expression of it, and turn instead to a brand of philosophy particular to women—one with a notion of existence as something there and naturally available. It is here that Darboven’s principle of compulsive writing, counting and copying is voiced: “By doing it, it becomes not more and more, because it is already there, but clearer and clearer.” It is at the opposite end of the scale from Oppenheim’s concentric circuitry, at the wavelengths of linearity where Darboven’s conscious writing-away, the ceaseless spending of her reservoir, will come in without static, and turn down your treble knob totally.

Her work is in a strangely dry register; it’s an art which holds no major surprises but which

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