Trisha Baga “Gravity” at Peep-Hole, Milan
On Wednesday 25 September Peep-Hole presents Gravity, the first solo show in an Italian institution of the American artist Trisha Baga.
Trisha Baga’s research stands out for versatile use of languages ranging from performance to video, painting to sculpture to stereoscopic 3D video projection, and the construction of stratified images that imply the multisensory involvement of the viewer.
Her experimental approach suggests affinities with the pioneers of video art, due to the extreme freedom of the references and visions produced, fluidly shifting from dream to reality, social investigation to history, myth to pop imagery. Through her detailed “compositions” where chance and intention seamlessly intertwine, Baga generates a vortex of information that defies our cognitive capacities, with the goal of amplifying potential and breaking down any type of hierarchy of vision or values.
Aware of the inclusive potential of video, the artist creates overlaps between works of cinema, painting, sculpture, photography and sound, amateur works and archival materials, placing them inside a multifaceted and immersive audio-visual field. A particular form of “mixed media” that comes from the desire to open to the world and to all the imaginable ways of representing it. Trisha Baga works by using everything around her: recurring subjects in her videos include pop and media culture, friends and people that are part of her life, just as her installations are always made of objects and materials found close at hand, and then organized into rhythmical compositions that come from improvisation and thrive on a refined sense of precariousness and transience.
Gravity, which takes its title from the new 3D film by Alfonso Cuarón, is a site-specific project that transforms the space into a detailed landscape composed of projections, objects and paintings. The combination of these elements develops a fragmented narrative in which the relationships between individuals and objects, between the use of one language and another, intersect to generate a polyphony of settings and materials that creates image paths of great evocative power. The exhibition is composed of a set of found and constructed objects, and the wide range of possibilities that exists between these two extremes: videos, images and sounds that come from the artist’s studio, the street and the computer. The way these elements are arranged in the space becomes an example of Trisha Baga’s practice of making 3D video with a crafted approach: a process that starts with material, creating many sub-products, reconfigured in space like a sort of inventory that documents each phase of the whole process, an abstract body that exists through the memory of various fragments. From the accumulation of objects and materials crowding the first room, one gradually proceeds to a more rarified environment, continuing to the last room where everything converges in the projection of the film Other Gravity, 2013. A path that indicates thepassage from material to its representation, from the physical nature of a body to the abstraction of its image.
The multiplicity of the recognizable sources in the show, ranging from Hollywood cinema to wax museums, David Bowie to Picasso, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York to cityscapes and scenes of everyday life, should not be seen as “references” but rather as the indistinct series of “materials” used to compose a setting of striking and poetic imagery, where there are no rankings and each individual item has the same weight, the same “gravity” as the others. The video that shows Picasso watching the famous TV series Sex and the City is the emblem of all this. Picasso becomes an ordinary character, like the dog, the bottle or the flower that appear in the films. The icon of 20th-century art is used like a color, a form, a tool that has the same “gravity” as any other body.
Trisha Baga’s video camera does not move in a selective way: it records everything that happens around and on this “heap of representation,” as the artist calls it. Baga intervenes by creating the glue that holds all these things together. “Gravity” as a natural binder becomes the metaphor of this intervention, of the force of attraction between two bodies, of desire, of magnetism that connects each thing to the others.
until 16 November 2013
Trisha Baga “Gravity” installation view at Peep-Hole, Milan, 2013