chicago

Hito Steyerl, Adorno’s Grey (detail), 2012, still from the fourteen-minute twenty-second black-and-white HD video projection component (with sound) of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising four angled screens and a time line with text and images.

Hito Steyerl

The Art Institute of Chicago

Hito Steyerl, Adorno’s Grey (detail), 2012, still from the fourteen-minute twenty-second black-and-white HD video projection component (with sound) of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising four angled screens and a time line with text and images.

For this expertly mounted exhibition of Berlin-based artist and writer Hito Steyerl’s work, curator Lisa Dorin installed six video projections throughout the Art Institute of Chicago’s modern wing. Dorin, describing Steyerl as a “riot grrrl” in her exhibition essay, ventured to consider the artist’s practice in terms of the issues around which that early-’90s movement coalesced. If riot grrrl challenged the veracity of the documentary, exploding its form, Steyerl’s work, in the artist’s own words, embraces images “passed on from hand to hand, copied and reproduced by printing presses, video recorders, and the Internet”—images that dramatize the ambiguity of their truth claiming.

The most recent works were presented here in a way that might be called video installation but which Steyerl prefers to describe as an attempt to materialize image as object. Such a procedure is

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