los-angeles

Cal Crawford

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A haunting, dirgelike melody transformed Cal Crawford’s solo debut—a sprawling installation—into a nocturnal menace determined to fix viewers in a trance. The eerie piano line creeps through high octaves, over the slow funereal boom of percussion and a lumbering baritone incantation. Modeled on the heavy-handed orchestration of B-movie horror and psychological thrillers, the music’s melodrama inflicts a visceral discomfort.

The gallery’s windows were papered over and its lights turned off, leaving the space flickering dimly with light cast by strobelike videos. Five vinyl banners with Daniel Buren–esque black and white vertical stripes hang from above, and are pulled taut across the room. Positioned parallel to one another at gradually increasing heights, the first faces the viewer squarely at the shoulders, and the last hangs close to the ceiling. This black-and-white striped banner is

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