reviews

Carey Young, Palais de Justice, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 17 minutes 58 seconds.

Carey Young

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Carey Young, Palais de Justice, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 17 minutes 58 seconds.

The quiet of Carey Young’s video Palais de Justice, 2017—also the title piece of her recent exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery—is, in fact, an unrelenting roar. Footsteps and murmuring voices bounce off the endless marble surfaces of the eponymous domed, nineteenth-century court building in Brussels, reminding us of its architecture’s fearsome grandeur even in her closer shots. With Young, we spy on people, catching unguarded moments in corridors and peering into closed courtrooms to watch female judges at work. Shown as a large projection in a darkened room, the transfixing, dialogueless film is a kind of speculative fiction. Constructed from surreptitiously shot material in lieu of a plot, Palais is distilled to a simple, tantalizing premise: Women are in power. Men are small, nervous before them, awaiting their direction and judgment.

The artist’s novel mock-up of a

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