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

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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