new-york

Adrian Piper, Decide Who You Are #22: Field Work, 1992, triptych, photo-text collage, overall 11' 1/2“ x 6' 7”.

Adrian Piper

Elizabeth Dee Gallery

Adrian Piper, Decide Who You Are #22: Field Work, 1992, triptych, photo-text collage, overall 11' 1/2“ x 6' 7”.

Adrian Piper’s exhibition “Past Time: Selected Works 1973–1995” was a compact survey comprising photo-text panels, installations, and a loop of wall-projected videos collectively given the fiercely immodest title The 20th Century Video Set, 1973–90. Grids and human figures, mostly in photographic grayscale and often flecked with red headlines, typified the look of hard-edged 1980s and early-’90s Conceptualism; documentation was on hand, too, of Piper’s wilder though still highly conceptual performances—such as The Mythic Being, 1973, in which she cruised public places sporting “threatening” signifiers, such as a bushy Afro, a handlebar mustache, and saucer-size sunglasses; and Funk Lessons, 1983, exercises in analytic boogie that she brought to college campuses in the ’80s. (Videos related to each screened in The 20th Century.) Piper’s selection demonstrated several things.

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