madrid

Manuel Saiz

Galería Elba Benitez

The reflexive structure of Manuel Saiz’s installation Interfaz (Interface, 1997) perhaps recalled Dan Graham’s pavilions, but while Graham’s installations pressure the viewer into recognizing that reality invades the representational arena, with Interfaz the viewer never entered a space that was recognizable as “real.” Instead, the viewer penetrated a virtual reality, a realm based on synthetic, computer-generated forms, and thus entirely artificial.

The dimensions and proportions of the room were familiar—a phone on a pedestal added to the sense of normalcy—but the viewer’s first impression was one of unheimleichkeit. Abstract forms covered the walls, ceiling, and floor, suggesting the crystallographic structure of an extraterrestrial mineral, or the ordered chaos of a fractal form.

Outside the room, two video monitors depicted its interior; the relationship between the images on the two

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