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Marianna Simnett, The Needle and the Larynx, 2016, HD video, color, sound, 15 minutes 17 seconds.

Marianna Simnett

Seventeen | New York

Marianna Simnett, The Needle and the Larynx, 2016, HD video, color, sound, 15 minutes 17 seconds.

Among the various forms of affectual experience typically available to gallerygoers—from dead boredom to rapt fascination and many more between—genuine fear remains a rarity. Part of the reason for this is that it’s actually pretty difficult to induce the emotion amid the anodyne precincts of the white cube, an environment that tends to disrupt the usual mechanisms and thwart the requisite level of empathy necessary to generate true dread. If the work of the British artist Marianna Simnett doesn’t entirely sidestep certain familiar sorts of scare tactics, it does vividly recast them, and does so in a context that provokes an almost hazardous degree of identification between spectator and artist. The two works on view here, the room-size installation Faint with Light and the single-channel video The Needle and the Larynx (both 2016), were as dark and fierce and bodily—as

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