Halsey Mckay Gallery is pleased to present a video installation by artist Arielle Falk. On Loop is inspired by a childhood memory reinterpreted through the lens of Jacques Lacan’s concept of objet petit a. According to Lacan, the phrase can be defined as ”any object that sets desire in motion.” A further complicating feature of objet petit a is that it “denotes an object that can never be attained, which is really the cause of desire rather than that towards which desire tends.”
Falk recalls: “As a child, I played a game where a friend and I would chase each other around and around a tree until we became so dizzy that we would have to stop, having never actually caught one another. Looking back, it is clear that the game was more in the chasing than in the catching and that in a way, it is a perfect metaphor for the fact that we, as humans, go through our lives searching for a chimerical something (objet petit a), and are forever wrapped up in endless loops of desire.”
Video 1 re-envisions Falk’s own childhood game of chase as the camera continuously follows a glowing orange sphere around a tree. An exercise in futility, neither the camera, nor the person behind it, can ever “catch” the sphere. They are themselves “caught”, chasing a glowing object around a tree in the dark, in a loop of perpetual desire. Video 2 is the actual document of Falk shooting Video 1, circling the tree over and over again. In making Video 1, in the act of creation, the artist herself is bound to a cycle of desire that is never completely fulfilled or satisfied. This loop, a drive to fulfill this wanting, is ultimately what pushes Falk to continue to make art.
As the viewer moves about the gallery space they will find themselves caught in their own loop, guided through the exhibition around a sculpture on the floor that resembles a cross section of a tree. This presents a third example of desire; the art viewer, or consumer, in search of their own unattainable object. Instead of objects on view in the gallery, an ethereal circle of orange light is projected and put upon a pedestal. Representing the intangible nature itself of objet petit a; it exists, but you can never grasp it.
Arielle Falk, born 1983 in Washington DC, is a Brooklyn-based artist working in video, performance, and sculpture. Falk has exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues such as P.P.O.W Gallery, NY, BolteLang, Zurich, Antimatter Underground Film Festival, Canada, EXiS Experimental Film & Video Festival, Korea, and Festival Miden, Greece. Her first solo exhibition, Lego My Ego, at LZ Project Space was named “Best in Show” by The Village Voice. A 2010-11 Franklin Furnace Fundwinner, Falk recently presented DE INHIBITIONATORS, a large-scale public performance piece, in Union Square. The piece, a Time Out NY “Critic’s Pick,” was covered on the day of by WNYC Radio. www.ariellefalk.com