Viktor Timofeev’s solo exhibition “Stairway to Melon” drew the viewer into the complex system of its own obscure inner logic. The Latvian-born, New York–based artist divided the gallery into two distinct spaces: He left the entry area blank white and transformed the rest into a sort of waiting room whose olive-green wallpaper was hung with paintings; on the carpeted floor, several folding chairs had been pushed to the walls or arranged in a circle. The scene looked like a stage set, but two monitors turned away from the viewer to face the back of the space encouraged visitors to enter the stage to see what was on the screen. And there was a further twist: When watching the video, the viewer could be observed from behind by other visitors sitting on the chairs pushed to the wall.
This inverted logic of observer and observed, subject and object, was replicated in the two-channel
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