At the entrance of Gallery Two, is Liam Gillick’s 16th Floor Platform, a rectangular anodized aluminum platform with multi-colored transparent Plexiglas inserts. Suspended overhead, the work skillfully appropriates and redefines the given space, asking the viewer to pass underneath the structure in order to view Monk’s works. This fluid exchange between the gallery space, the viewer, and the artwork suggests the ostensibly utilitarian yet open-ended nature of Gillick’s aesthetic.
Continuing the exhibition, Jonathan Monk will present three artworks: Laser VII, a laser text projection (after Bruce Nauman), Hand-held Sky, a 16mm film loop, and The Burden, two black and white photographs held to the wall by diamond earrings.
The laser piece, Laser VII, is the seventh and final laser piece by the artist. The work is a verbal collage that projects the text, “please pay attention please,” a phrase made famous by the conceptual artist, Bruce Nauman. For this piece, the type has been reversed and projected one word at a time, in a standard format (from left to right) so that the viewer is asked to pay close attention to the projection in order to read the phrase properly. Inspired by Nauman, this work transforms everyday speech into something that is both familiar and alien, examining how it is we communicate or fail to communicate.
Hand-held Sky is a 16mm film depicting the artist’s hand holding a postcard image of the sky up to the sky. The camera twists and turns in every direction, creating a unique form of self-portraiture.
The Burden refers directly to Chris Burden’s performance piece, Shoot (1971), in which Burden’s friend, at the artist’s request, shot him in the arm. For this piece, Monk uses two of the exact same photograph of Burden taken after this performance, but has replaced the depicted bullet holes with diamond studs to hang the images. The artist playfully uses both real and fake diamonds refusing to reveal which is which.