Willie Doherty

Matt's Gallery

The face of a young woman is projected onto two opposite walls of the gallery. Her eyes look straight ahead, rather than at the viewer, and her face looks familiar. The static and emblematic character of the projections, heightened by their large scale and a graininess that results from rephotographing television or video images, creates a sense of recognition irrespective of whether or not one can identify the face. In a regular rhythm words are projected onto this image, one at a time: MURDERER, RELENTLESS, MURDERER, CALCULATING, MURDERER, IMPULSIVE are flashed. On the opposite wall: VOLUNTEER, ANGRY, VOLUNTEER, PASSIONATE, VOLUNTEER, INTUITIVE are projected. At first, the viewer is trapped by in the symmetry of this piece, turning from one side to the other in search of differences between the words and the positions they represent. It is only by stepping back from this mirror relationship

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1991 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.