NOVEMBER 18 – DECEMBER 22, 2004
Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of works by Morgan Fisher, opening Thursday, November 18th, 2004. Fisher will present an installation of inscribed mirrors as well as a 16mm film titled ( ). The mirrors are in the proportions of motion picture images ranging from those of the silent period to the present, with the name and ratio of each format sand-blasted onto the surface. The film, titled ( ), appropriates black and white and color footage to create a non-narrative sequence of chance juxtapositions.
The mirror works call to mind film, video, painting, sculpture and photography without being any one of them. Like a photograph, the mirrors create the illusion of a space beyond their surface. Yet, it is the sand-blasted inscription that demands a surface reading, much in the same way that the handling of paint attracts interest in a Modernist painting. The mirrors refer directly to film; however, the reflected image is in the present moment instead of functioning as a record of things past. In addition, the mirrors refer to monochrome painting, but with an industrially-produced readymade surface of glass and reflective silver.
These pieces complicate conventional ways of looking. The surfaces matter, and so do the shapes. But standing in the usual place to look at a painting, the viewer is faced with an image: his or her own reflection. For Fisher, self-regard goes beyond narcissism: someone looking at his or her reflection is engaged in self-surveillance. Further, carrying self-surveillance to its ultimate implication, someone looking at himself or herself in a mirror is frozen in a voluntary act of self-arrest.
The film, ( ), is rooted in Fisher’s longtime fascination with inserts, a crucial type of shot in the syntax of narrative films. Frequently shots of hand gestures, newspaper headlines, letters, and similar sorts of significant details, inserts have to be included for the sake of clarity in storytelling. For ( ) Fisher has created a non-narrative film composed entirely of appropriated insert shots. ( ) was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.
This is the first New York solo show of Fisher’s work. He has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe over the last 35 years. Fisher moved to California to study film in the mid-1960’s, and still resides in Los Angeles.