barcelona

James Coleman

Fundació Antoni Tàpies

This exquisite show is essentially a mini-retrospective of the Irish artist James Coleman’s work. Three of the nine pieces on display are from the early ’70s, when Coleman was still working primarily with silent 16 mm black-and-white film loops, among them the intriguing Playback of a Daydream, 1974, projected on a small screen on the stage of the museum’s film auditorium. The viewer encounters not a moving picture but a single static image: Joseph Jastrow’s famous duck-rabbit drawing, in which both animals can be seen, but not simultaneously. Each blinds the viewer to the other. The projected image becomes doubly ambivalent when one takes into account that it is at once static and perpetually in motion.

A similar ambiguity is operative in the slide-projector piece Connemara Landscape, 1980, which features a single image of seemingly abstract and disjointed black shapes. Only when the viewer

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