Sunday, May 27, 2007

Angela Bulloch

Linienstrasse 85
April 27–June 23

Upon entering this exhibition, one’s attention is immediately captured by a large, luminous balloon hovering in the darkened gallery. A slightly off-kilter image of the Southern Hemisphere, taken from outer space, is projected onto it. When the projection temporarily expires, a yellowish light arises from the back of the hanging sphere. Loudspeakers diffuse a considerably slowed and altered 1973 jazz version of Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra. As always in Bulloch’s installations, sound, light, and image are meticulously intertwined; here the sound track (coordinated with the programming of the lights) runs for exactly 36:07 and is followed by a silence of identical length, while the projection is on a one-hour loop, making the film run increasingly out of sync. In addition, Bulloch has arranged a grid of twelve prints, each framing (in the exact dimensions of the artist’s famous “pixel boxes”) a view of the universe from Mercury as generated by a computer program; apart from Earth, all celestial bodies have been rendered as colored dots (again reminiscent of the pixel boxes’ abstraction). The same virtual map has been used as the source for a computer-controlled LED installation that turns the ceiling of an adjacent room into another decentered perspective on the Blue Planet from outer space. This new body of work, while maintaining Bulloch’s signature high production values, departs from her prior investigation of the intersection of Minimalism and corporate design and instead creates a spectacular allegory of globalization. By means of a technologically elaborate, phenomenologically complex setting, literal worldviews—and their respective, ideologically charged modes of representation, such as astronomy—are at the center of the artist’s continued observation of systems governing human self-perception.

—André Rottman

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