Locks Gallery is pleased to present Mirrors, Marks & Loops, an exhibition of new pieces by Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, on view June 6th through July 26th, 2014. There will be a reception for the artists on Friday, June 6th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. A gallery talk with the artists and moderated by Philadelphia Museum of Art curator Erica Battle will be held on July 17th at 6 pm.
Each an accomplished artist in their own right, Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have worked collaboratively on film, sound, photographs, and video installations since 2008. Much of this new work was realized through their recent residencies at The Banff Centre in Canada and at Headlands Center for the Arts in California. Collaboration is an integral approach for the artists who have routinely worked with outside visual artists, musicians, writers, sound artists, poets, and puppeteers on elements of their videos and installations.
This exhibition is a departure from their recent gallery-scale video installations and presents a constellation of discrete pieces representing the duo’s varied approaches to the moving image and its history. Working fluidly between digital and analog techniques, the artists propose a new framework for considering documentary impulses and manufactured illusions in time-based media. By reimagining historical references that range from the architectural to the literary, Hironaka and Suib stray from the predominance of cinema within filmic history.
Works included in the exhibition like The Continuous Moment, present a fantastical reality where the radical Italian architecture firm Superstudio’s proposed Continuous Monument has been realized and must be maintained by a lone window washer. As a structure of power, visitors can look out the mirrored windows which cover the building, but it reflects the gaze of those looking in. Drawing attention to multiple perspectives that both provide new truths or challenge the gaze of the viewer is a thread that runs throughout their work.
In the essayistic video portraits Post-Perceptual Exercise #1 and #2, the viewer is given a glimpse into artist’s studios both as they make work and read aloud passages from Umberto Eco. These short films study the portrayed subject’s mark-making and call attention to the mark-making inherent to Hironaka and Suib’s own video production.
Ascension (with Cat) explores the gestural possibilities of an abstract expressionist all-overness within moving images. The piece utilizes primarily generic stock footage, creating a collage that is simultaneously filmic and animated.
This new body of work culminates with a floating piece of pyrite (fool’s gold), presented mysteriously by itself (with spoken text by Nabil Kashyap) and also superimposed as if it were a levitating boulder within a woodland vista. The latter facet of this installation, Exploded View, presents a fantastical landscape which appears digital in origin, yet is projected from a 16mm projector within the gallery. Through these subtle gestures, Hironaka and Suib playfully interrogate the construction and verisimilitude of contemporary moving images.