Gregg Bordowitz, Doug Ischar, Tom Kalin Group Screening
January 8, 2012, 8 – 9:30pm Participant Inc. 253 E Houston, New York, NY
Golden Gallery, Inc. is proud to present a public screening Sunday, January 8, 2012, 8 – 9:30pm featuring Gregg Bordowitz, Doug Ischar and Tom Kalin, with a reception to follow. Each artist addresses a personal engagement with literature, poetic spectatorship, and the erotics of voyeurism. In conjunction with Ischar’s concurrent exhibitions at Golden Gallery, New York and Golden Gallery, Chicago, this screening is graciously being hosted by Participant Inc., located at 253 E. Houston, New York, NY. Since 2001 Participant Inc. has provided a venue in which artists, curators, and writers can develop, realize, and present ambitious projects within a context that recognizes the social and cultural value of artistic experimentation.
Doug Ischar: brb, 2007 Tom Kalin: ONE (Jane Bowles), 2000 Tom Kalin: TWO (Patricia Highsmith), 2000 Tom Kalin: THREE (Derek Jarman), 2000 Doug Ishcar: forget him, 2009 Tom Kalin: FOUR (Oscar Wilde), 2000 Tom Kalin: FIVE (Alfred Chester), 2000 Tom Kalin: SIX (Virginia Woolf), 2000 Tom Kalin: SEVEN (Virginia Woolf), 2000 Tom Kalin: EIGHT (Roland Barthes), 2000 Gregg Bordowitz: A Cloud In Trousers, 1995 Tom Kalin: NINE (James Baldwin), 2000 Doug Ischar: Alone With You, 2011
Tom Kalin, in addition to his feature films Swoon (1992) and Savage Grace (2007), has created multiple short films and video works, which have screened in numerous international film festivals and are included in the permanent collections of Centre George Pompidou and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The series screened here addresses an individual, attentive, viewership – exposed to the public – of seminal writers. The series (all 2000) may be described together best by the excerpted 1961 passage by Baldwin:
“The roles that we construct are constructed because we feel that they will help us to survive and also, of course, because they fulfill something in our personalities; and one does not,therefore, cease playing a role simply because one has begun to understand it. All roles are dangerous. The world tends to trap and immobilize you in the role you play; and it is not always easy—in fact, it is always extremely hard—to maintain a kind of watchful, mocking distance between oneself as one appears to be and oneself as one actually is.”—James Baldwin, “The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy,” Esquire (May 1961)
Ischar’s three films – brb, forget him, and Alone With You – each represent different stages and strategies in the artist’s career in video. brb (2007) is a spanning tableau constructed between footage shot from a traveling vehicle window and the recount of an online sexual conversation between the artist and another man. The transcript alludes to their ongoing intimacy touching on dependency, lust, and pain. forget him, created two years later, draws from appropriated Super 8 footage of a sun-bleached neighborhood summer followed by a remote setting where an older and younger man awkwardly undress and redress for the water, sun, and one another. Subtitled passages from Walter Benjamin’s One Way Street and a musical quotation from Heinrich Schütz’s Symphoniae Sacrae I complicate the imagery of the men, creating a spectrum between the love sick, and sick of love. Alone With You, Ischar’s most recent video, positions the artist between voyeur and collector, obsessed with passions both personal and social.
Gregg Bordowitz’s A Cloud in Trousers is a thirty-five-minute film staged as a reading of the great Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky’s famous poem, written in 1914 – 1915. It was an attempt to go beyond the autobiographical mode of Bordowitz’s 1993 Fast Trip, Long Drop by appropriating the allegorical potential of another artist’s work. Mayakovsky’s poem is lyrical and didactic, romantic and materialist. It swings pendulously between two equally passionate commitments: political revolution and romantic love. The dynamic tension in the poem emanates from a conflict. The poet wishes for social transformation with every fiber of his being. But the revolution is a demanding lover: it requires the withdrawal from all other romantic interests. It demands fidelity. Featuring David Rakoff as Mayakovsky.