Simone Mangos

Ivan Dougherty

Like exposed photographic paper in a chemical bath, Undertow, 1990, an installation by Simone Mangos, dissolves, blurs, and eventually clarifies into an image of memorable density. Seven large, grainy, black and white photographs of a Berlin cemetery are suspended like scrolls from a ceiling approximately three feet away from the wall. Opposite, six stone windowsills, bricked-in since the gallery’s conversion from a schoolroom, have been excavated. On an accompanying document, a six-panel photograph shows the wire-mesh screen across a canal formerly dividing East from West Berlin. The undertow of water is also the undertow of death, and a bare minimum of information in the gallery emphasizes that tidal attractions between objects are felt rather than seen. The materials of her installations have always had metaphoric meanings and sought to suggest the harvest of consequences that accompany

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