Thursday, April 10, 2008

La Ligne Jaune (suite), Installations by Irit Batsry at Le Parvis, Ibos, France 2007

Partial view, mixed media installations at the entrance platform.

Partial view, video installations in the main Gallery.

Photos by A. Alquier, all rights reserved.
(C) 2007 irit Batsry

La Ligne Jaune (suite) [The Yellow Line (suite)] is a series of new works including video installations in the main gallery and mixed-media installations on the entrance platform. These installations address the location of the Parvis inside a shopping mall and use its particular architecture. They speak of boundaries and transgression, being outside and inside, inclusion and exclusion, but also of perception and of our relationship to the environment.

The entrance platform includes several installations built with yellow security tapes.

The platform’s floor is invaded by proliferating forms resembling “mutant organisms” arranged to evoke terrestrial and celestial cartographies, beehives, coral reefs or strange fruits.

The presentation counters that surround the platform were painted black and a continuous yellow security tape is “threaded” through them, transgressing the borders of the individual glass panels. Each of the words “Caution”, printed repeatedly on the tape in alternating black and silver, has been individually deformed through heat by the artist.

A “carpet”, made from a stapled striped tape, divides the passage into the main exhibition space obliging the viewer to walk on one side or awkwardly walk with a foot on each side.

The main gallery’s space is transformed by four video projections. The viewers walk in along two large anamorphic seemingly abstract projections. At the back of the space, the reality represented in these images, filmed by Irit Batsry in the North East of Brazil on the set of Karim Ainouz’s « O Ceu de Suely », is revealed in three scenes: an old woman at a white gate, men on a hill and a group of neighborhood people behind a yellow security tape.

In spite of the synchronous projection on the two walls, the asymmetric anamorphosis creates a gap in space and in time that challenges our perception. For example: we see people starting to walk on the right wall and paradoxically see them cross the center of the street after seeing them arrive to its end on the left wall.

Two glass doors, which separate the exhibition space from the theater’s corridor, are transformed into giant light boxes by two video projections: on the right, the children’s slow-motioned movements create a fascinating choreography around the yellow line; on the left, the projected adolescents turn into caryatides. These projections appear sharp when seen from the outside, blurred when viewed from inside the space, “Irit Batsry … proves at her turn, after Marcel Duchamp, that a door can be open and closed at the same time” (Evelyne Toussaint, Les voyages post-exotiques d'Irit Batsry).

La Ligne jaune (suite) is part of an ongoing cycle of works that uses material shot by the artist on the sets of Brazilian feature films. The cycle includes Set, video installation and architectural outdoor projection at the Whitney Museum in 2003-2004. Like Set, La Ligne jaune (suite) transforms documentary material into a spatial experience:

“… Ms. Batsry operates in the gap between fiction and documentary. In "Set" she takes us into that gap to experience for ourselves a complexity that is as psychological as it is painterly, as literary as it is spatial. She displays an unusual ability to draw rich pictorial, symbolic and poetic resonances from the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, and she shows a sure grasp of the inextricable unity of form and content, or structure and meaning, that is scarce in contemporary art.” (Roberta Smith, The New York Times, January 9, 2004).

Other projects in this cycle include Through the Looking, an exhibition of installations, video and photography, shown in 2006 at the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica and The Yellow Line, shown at Monkey Town, Brooklyn, in 2006.

From press release of the exhibition.

Exhibition presented by Le Parvis centre d’art contemporain in collaboration with Heure Exquise!

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