new-york

Luis Gispert

Mary Boone Gallery/Zach Feuer Gallery

A hand with pink painted nails reaches across a cluttered nightstand, pops open a pill bottle, then latches onto a glass of bourbon. And so we meet Nora, the overbearing mother of Waylon, an eleven-year-old who wets his pants (“four times this week”). Nora and Waylon are the main characters in Luis Gispert’s video Smother, 2006–2007, the centerpiece of the artist’s recent two-part exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery and Zach Feuer Gallery. In the film, which is set in 1980s Miami, mother and son inhabit a pastel palace decorated with etched mirrors, Art Deco sconces, and Patrick Nagel prints. Bequeathed to them by Waylon’s drug-dealing father, the home is a baroque setting equal parts Miami Vice and Versailles.

For the opening shot, the camera pans down from a thicket of potted palms to a concrete backyard with grass sprouting from its gridded cracks. We then see Nora fretting about her son’s

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