reviews

  • Taryn Simon, Switzerland, 2014, ink-jet prints in boxed mat and aluminum frame, 39 7/8 x 79 1/2". From the series “Birds of the West Indies,” 2013–14.

    Taryn Simon

    Gagosian | Beverly Hills

    The birth of modern ornithology, according to historian Daniel Lewis, was marked by notable developments in three areas: classification, language, and accountability. The first can be traced directly to Darwin: Following the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species, it became practice not just to note affinities among groups of birds but to make fine distinctions between subspecies and to track their evolution over time. These emerging classification systems in turn made fresh demands on language, requiring the invention of new and precise terminologies. Finally, the arrival of such

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  • Carter Mull, Hearts of Gold, 2013–14, digital video, color, sound, 7 minutes 22 seconds.

    Carter Mull

    Marc Foxx Gallery

    The digital video Hearts of Gold, 2013–14—the sole work in Carter Mull’s exhibition of the same name—centers on an “artist’s book” constructed on the broadsheets of the New York Times. The newspaper format, of course, once heralded the end of the book as a memory-storage technology, its pulpy pages as transitory as the information imprinted thereon. While newspaper content was, for a time, preserved on the celluloid rolls of microfiche, the effort was highly selective. Today, in the age of big data, all recorded content can be made immediately and indiscriminately available for posterity,

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  • View of “Isabelle Studies,” 1984–85. Cornaro,” 2014. From left: Premier rêve d’Oskar Fischinger (Part II) (Oskar Fischinger’s First Dream [Part II]), 2008; Figures, 2011; Film-Lampe, 2010.

    Isabelle Cornaro

    Laxart

    The establishing shot arrives almost halfway through Isabelle Cornaro’s Figures,2011. It’s not much of a wait; the film runs only two and a half minutes. But with this long shot comes a delicate shift in tone and, seemingly, in intention. The scene could almost pass for the Hollywood trick (familiar from Body Double, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and a dozen other movies about movies) in which an opening sequence is abruptly revealed as a film take: We’re not where we thought we were; we’re on set.

    Cornaro is an artist of drifts and quiet permutations, and her version of this maneuver is miniaturized

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