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Barney Kulok, Simple Facts

Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
526 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor, 212-243-3335
April 28 - May 26, 2007
Reception: Saturday, April 28, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

In this series of black and white prints, color prints and lightboxes, Kulok makes images about the act of photography itself. In his rigorously formalistic, almost ascetic compositions, Kulok hones in on seemingly location-less locations - a stain on the headrest of a car or an isolated barn whose form echoes the contours of the mountain behind it - creating images in which the subjects become meta-critical meditations on the photographic process.

Kulok also tackles the idea of appropriation and re-photographing or-in the case of a tightly cropped picture revealing a peeling, desecrated copy of an Andy Warhol painting-photographs of paintings of photographs. This body of images questions the photographic bond between subject and form and points to, as Laurie Dahlberg writes, the “mirroring of presence and absence, blacks and whites, time passed and time present, positive prints and negative impressions.” In his preternaturally beautiful lightboxes, the artist explores the cinematic quality of light, which shimmers eerily across the surfaces of digital transparencies.

For Empire Troika, a new video installation in the gallery’s project room co-created with Sebastian Bear-McClard, the artists filmed the illuminated tower of the Empire State Building over the course of several months. The building’s lighting schedule translates history and humanity into the abstraction of color. From Pakistani Independence Day to Corporate Philanthropy Day, the lights of the Empire State building act as a full color guide to a panoply of world events. From this raw material, the artists created three looped video projections in which the building recedes as subject; where, in their words, “time is shaped by color, language is translated into luminosity, and light becomes subject.”
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