A back room, a black and white film by artist Rosalind Nashashibi. The scratchy, nostalgia-inducing 16mm depicts a swap meet in what appears to be an unrecognizable place. Elderly women and a few men are captured scavenging through discarded treasures to take home with them. The artist layers these seemingly improvised actions with the voice of iconic Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, whose arresting song from the 1920s displaces the images on screen, both out of time and out of context.
How does sound and distortion affect our experience and understanding of a place, and our perception of measured time? How does the layering of sound with action alter our relationship to the everyday environment, to the constructed, and to the objects at play?
Cover, Junk, Strike takes these inquiries as its starting point by pairing a video work by Rosalind Nashashibi with installations and live performance works by Jules Gimbrone and Corey Fogel. The project offers a collective glimpse into a social space where the materials, the reverb, and the performers are temporarily suspended in the interval of the action, to be made over and imitated.
The initial presentation by Jules Gimbrone unsettles the industrial site of the gallery replete with microphones, cords, and speakers. Large balloons filled with hot air from a series of performed environmental interventions become an acoustically bombastic stand-in for the body. Gimbrone performs with the objects at hand, exercising idiomatic language to enact a series of loosely choreographed actions with collaborators. Corey Fogel similarly conceives of a disorienting, improvised space as visual setting for a piece performed with fellow musicians. Outstretched shiny fabric, jacaranda blossoms, and the artist’s drum kit compose the mood for homage to Los Angeles during springtime.
Both the live and documented performances in Cover, Junk, Strike reconsider everyday objects and scenes through a sensory experience with materials and props on view: some at play and others played. The resonance of the performed acts distorts, colors, and reverses the audience’s orientation of place, while the manipulation of sound and motion permeates the communal expanse of the gallery. As audience members enter the scene, they activate and amplify the theatrical setting in operation at Fahrenheit through feedback loops, further implicating themselves within the activity.
It is never made clear in which direction the layered actions and sounds will advance, or how they will dissolve in actual time. The collective not-knowing serves as a path towards a reconsideration of time as a relative value for measure, and an urgent call for both improvised and imagined modes of action that extend far beyond the present scenes. In doing so, the project appeals for interventionist practices that push against the everyday conventions we inhabit in our lives, and prompts a move towards the increasingly unfamiliar, to a refusal of determined time and place.
7 pm • Rosalind Nashashibi’s The State of Things (2000), with installations on view.
8 pm • Jules Gimbrone’s Taking Up Space with performers Nick Duran, Lydia Okrent, and Mariana Valencia.
8:45 pm • Corey Fogel performance.