Sue de Beer

Silver and Gold

The Do Right Hall (Marfa, TX)

December 10, 2011 – February 11, 2012

Back to Nothing Beside Remains

The Do Right Hall
108 West Dallas Street
Marfa, TX 79843
3:00 – 9:00 PM

As part of Nothing Beside Remains, de Beer presented a multimedia project at the Do Right Hall. Entitled Silver and Gold, the installation alluded to the past and present of the moving image in order to explore impeded kinetics and abstraction. This manifested immediately at the installation’s entrance: a pair of perforated, sculptural screens at once redirected the spectators’ access to the space and fractured their view of what lies beyond. Backlit in green, these screens bring to mind the illuminated cinema screen, but in function they abstract an image surface rather than articulating one.

Circumnavigating this barrier, the spectator encountered a formal mimic of the praxinoscope (an animation device invented in France in 1877) but with a major shift in function – the mechanics of motion have been removed. As a result, only the fixed image of a glacial landscape (de Beer again referencing and impeding a symbol of monumental kinetics) was made mosaic in the sculpture’s 12-sided central column. The final element of the installation, a video entitled Silver and Gold, loosely focused on a lost photograph of the artist’s grandmother in her youth. The work played like a series of fading memories: glimpses of landscapes, arctic explorers, the Taj Mahal, black and white domestic interiors, the flash of a human figure. Seeking to reconstruct the moment the photograph was taken (rather than the image itself), following it to the past and extending it to the future through flickering images and colored lights, the freedom from a static moment nonetheless offered no final clarity.

“When you close your eyes, you move into the image. The hairbrush is in your hand, the cool feeling of a silk dressing gown, you look through a mirror. The life you are about to have opens in front of you – a series of images – moments in time, and then finally, an end.”

Sue de Beer is a New York-based multimedia artist. Her photographs, videos, and installations make reference to film – its artificiality, cult following, and production – to call into question how various media can effect the viewers’ perceptions. Sue de Beer has had solo exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2006, 2011); Art Productoin Fund in association with Park Avenue Armory, New York (2011); MuHKA Museum, Antwerp (2008); Sandroni Rey, Los Angeles (2005, 2007); Arndt and Partner, Berlin (2007); among others. Recent selected group exhibitions include Expo EPIC, Monty, Antwerp (2011); A Strange Affinity to the Beautiful and the Dreadful, Hendershot Gallery, New York (2011); Speed Bump: Works from the Collection of Frans Oomen, Kunstfort bij Vijhuizen, Amsterdam (2010); and Alpha Omega – Works from the Dakis Jannou Collection, DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens (2010).

Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.
Special thanks to The Do Right Hall.