July 20, 2014/posted in: Reviews

Artforum, Critics’ Picks, Mirrors, Marks and Loops

Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib
Mirrors, Marks and Loops
LOCKS GALLERY, 600 Washington Square South
June 6–July 26

By Katherine Rochester

At a time when the video loop is still a convention in moving-image presentation, it’s refreshing to see Philadelphia-based duo Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib demand more of it than sheer utility. Their six new video works pair masterfully written voice-overs with digital and documentary footage for an exploration of the loop as both time-saver and time traveler.

The Continuous Moment Part 1, 2014, imagines a dystopia in which the proposal for a “continuous monument” by a 1960s radical Italian architectural collective has been realized on a global scale. The result is disastrous: Corporate-style glass walls stretch around the world, perverting a critical idea into a hegemonic structure. An adjacent video, Routine Maintenance, 2014, shows a lone window-washer cleaning the monument’s mirrored surface. Thanks to the internal mechanism of the video loop, he toils under the sun of a workday that is only ever just getting started.

Circulating in a different direction, the loop in Exploded View, 2014, revisits the past. The multichannel projection emits a revolving hunk of pyrite glittering in an otherwise darkened room. A man’s voice reads a letter. He raves about speculation, a forest, minerals. Outside the room, a 16-mm projector plays an HD loop of the digitally composited rock. The rock, in its grainy transfer, has now been contextualized in an ancient forest similar to the one the narrator describes. Here, as elsewhere in the exhibition, the virtual is anchored to the political, historical, and material real—but never too firmly.

Read the review at Artforum here.