Artists Space

Dark Rooms

January 22 – February 19, 1983


Dark Rooms presents slide installations by five artists: Richard Baim, Dorit Cypis, Perry Hoberman, Antonio Muntadas and Michel Sauer. Dark Rooms reflects a continuing and growing interest among artists to construct slide presentations which critique the media and address filmic and cinematic ideas. The artists whose works are included in Dark Rooms utilize devices such as: viewer participation, distance, illusion, abstraction, fiction and narrative in addition to sound, which is used either as a supportive or as a subversive element in relation to the visual. Each installation sets up either a structural or a psychological examination of the various aspects of light projections.

RICHARD BAIM's slide project takes on the structure of an assemblage by combining diverse elements to evoke a theme. Baim's theme can loosely be described as heroism, and is evoked by a series of original drawings and photographs rather than appropriated cultural symbols. Baim's images do not refer to specific traditional figures of heroism, instead Baim chooses to circumvent the stereotypical by creating more ambiguous and subtle figures and signs, implying perhaps that heroism is more complex and more mundane than the cliche. Baim's presentation will take the form of rear projection of slides on a huge screen accompanied by a synchronized musical score. Baim says of this installation, "the combination of image, montage, color and sound compels the viewer to find the criteria I have employed (and to find the personal criteria) and in progression to apply it to each new visual as seen."

DORIT CYPIS' installation, "Still; To Be Seen" is a work from her series, "Stilled Cinema." Cypis will utilize a marquee at the entrance to her installation to suggest a conventional theater. "Still; To Be Seen" consists of three slide images which are superimposed as they are projected and are accompanied by a sound track. Unlike a theater, Cypis' installation leaves the projectors visible as part of the work. As the viewer enters, he/she intercepts the projection, casting a shadow which partially blocks the composite image, "both manipulating the images and at the same time becoming trapped and manipulated by them." The work confronts "the filmic" which Cypis believes "is to be found between motion and stillness."

PERRY HOBERMAN's installation is a remake of the film The Invisible Man. In the fictional space that Hoberman has created with the use of four alternating projectors hovers a sequence of silhouettes. These silhouettes are symbols of the film that play out the narrative involving the spectator's presence and non-presence in the cinematic situation. With the aid of three dimensional glasses, the viewer walks into the environment, casting his/her shadow, automatically including and implicating them in the apparatus of the cinematic scene as instigator of moving silhouettes.

ANTONIO MUNTADAS' installation, "La Television" occupies a darkened room, in which a projector from one corner of the space reflects a selection of familiar images taken from the mass media, such as advertisements, headlines, stock exchange graphs, etc. These images are reflected onto two walls, which form a corner, giving the impression of an open book. A television screen without sound or image is placed at the center of this corner. During the slide projections a sound tape of the song "La Television" by Enzo Jannacci is playing in the background. Muntadas says "La Television" works as a media exorcism. Sound and image that we receive from the mass media are sent back to 'exorcise a passive T.V. set.'"

MICHAEL SAUER's installation consists of a light directed towards a basin of water, which projects the reflection of small waves on to a focused area on the ceiling or wall. The waves are produced by the vibrations of people as they walk around or near the basin, producing a spontaneity in the viewer's encounter with the work. The natural effect of the waves produces a contemplative mood, which is counterbalanced by the addition of a cultural image, such as a found or constructed object, which Sauer uses to project a shadow. This object is made by the grafting of tools or utensils, or hands on plastic or aluminium. Sauer sets up an enigmatic relationship between the projection of light through a natural element (water) and the projection of light through a cultural image (shaped object), in order to reveal their abstract forms.

Richard Baim lives in New York and in 1982 showed his slide presentation "Watch and Wait" at Artists Space, the Kitchen in New York and at CEPA, Buffalo. Baim has also exhibited his photographs at CEPA and at Yves Arman Gallery, NYC. Baim published in Real Life Magazine issues #4 and #6 and contributed to Michael Smith's 1982 video tape "It Starts at Home."

Dorit Cypis lives in Los Angeles and has recently exhibited her slide installations at A Space in Toronto, Vechicule in Montreal, at the Pilot Theater and LACE in Los Angeles and the Kunsthaus in West Berlin. She has also screened her video tapes at ARC and Sheridan College of Art and Design in Toronto.

Perry Hoberman lives in New York and completed an installation included in the recent "Constructed Color" exhibition at M.I.T. in Boston, Mass.

Antonio Muntadas was born in Madrid and lives in New York. He has exhibited work internationally and has recently shown at the Galeria Vandres in Madrid, in the "Media Sites/Media Monuments" exhibition at Washington Projects for the Arts, Washington, D.C. and in the "Media Landscape" exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Antonio Muntadas has mounted one person exhibitions in New York at the Museum of Modern Art, the Kitchen and Anthology Film Archives, as well as at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse and the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada.

Michael Sauer lives in Dusseldorf and has exhibited in Germany at the Galerie Schmela, Galerie Marzona in Dusseldorf, at the Kunsthalle in Dusseldorf and Keil, at the Neue Galerie/Sammlung Ludwig in Aachen, and at the Kunstverein in Cologne and Munster. Sauer has also exhibited work at Corps de Garde in Groningen, Holland, at Vechicule Art Galerie, Montreal, Canada and at Le Frigo 51, in Lyon, France.

Michael Sauer's exhibition was partially supported by a generous contribution from Goethe House, New York.

Artists Space regular exhibition program is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum Services, the Jerome Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Lauder Foundation. Corporate Sponsors are AT&T Long Lines, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, Consolidated Edison, Exxon Corporation, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, I.M. Pei & Partners, Philip Morris and Warner Communications.