Legal papers and surveillance cameras can be the stuff of messy divorces, but in the hands of Brooklyn- and Amsterdam-based artist Jill Magid, they become instruments for the expression of love—or something like it. Featuring various artifacts such as an activity log, documentary photographs, CCTV footage, and objects in Plexiglas displays laid out case by case like courtroom evidence, the artist’s New York solo debut detailed a series of perverse romances with authority. Blending forensic precision with poetic obliqueness, the works carve out intimate niches within civic structures, rewiring the closed circuits of love and law in a manner that cleverly destabilizes both.
Consider Evidence Locker, 2004. The provocative environment comprises several individual works by Magid, including One Cycle of Memory in the City of L (a “novella” in the form of thirty-one access-request documents she
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