Repetti is proud to host Brooklyn artist William McMillin’s first one person show in New York. This exhibition is also his first since participating in the Queens International 2006 at the Queens Museum.
McMillin describes his work as a continual “follow up” to the basic questions of authorship and interpretation, and has accepted its challenges in several mediums including painting, video, and sculpture. Recent pieces have attempted to appraise the positive and negative value in the connotation of compromise, reacting both to otherwise divergent tendencies in specific works and what are the day-to-day negotiations between artists and curators.
Drawing inspiration from elevated trains, telephone switchboards, and sculpture transport facilities, McMillin programs a multifaceted installation of site-specific sculpture, video, and paintings. A floor to ceiling structure winds its way through the gallery, emulating both the elevated subway tracks outside, and, more concretely, wood remnants of a frame used to secure freight inside international sea containers. Personifying sculpture McMillin hyperbolizes, “nowadays a non-public sculpture spends most of its life in storage, and is only rarely awoken to consciousness. During that brief time it endures blockbuster framing, follows the orders of curators, and must submit itself to the highest bidder.”
The winding sculpture leads down a long corridor to the back gallery where, literally, elevated trains operate the plot in scenes from popular action movies. Whether the train’s loud roar preserves a disclosure between two characters (we can see their intimate conversation, but we can’t hear it), marks a continuity between two sequences, or betrays a character with its distinct sound rumbling through a phone call, the ‘EL’ is used as a screenwriter’s device to advance the story towards its conclusion.
The final act, then, are new paintings created while conceiving the installation. These tangential journeys, or personal meditations, serve both as witness to the first two acts, and also as a final escort for the viewer, leading her from the finite world of trains and movies into a more transcendental realm.