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New York
Duke Riley
Magnan Metz Gallery
521 W 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
November 1, 2007 - December 22, 2007

A Look at Duke Riley
by Yaelle Amir

In his second exhibition at Magnan Projects, Duke Riley bridges history, allegory, and current social concerns to construct a thorough and daring nautical narrative that extends well into our reality. 

Riley constructed this project upon a report dating back to the Revolutionary War, in which an American sergeant utilized the first American submarine (the “Turtle”) to intercept the advancement of the British flagship in the New York Harbor.  As a basis of this exhibition, he built the “Acorn” – a replica of the “Turtle” – and devised a fictional story of a commander who has gone missing under questionable circumstances. The account is replete with artifacts, drawings, and videos bearing testimonials. As part of this project, Riley attempted to float the “Acorn” to Buttermilk Channel (Brooklyn Harbor) where the Queen Mary II was docked at the time. Both in its individual works and on a whole, this exhibition intelligently links fiction and historical events with local concerns of the impact of gentrification and waterfront development projects.

- Yaelle Amir

(*Images, from top to bottom:  Duke Riley, After the Battle of Brooklyn, November 1 - December 22, 2007; Magnan Projects
, After the Battle of Brooklyn, 2007, video still, Courtesy of Artist and Magnan Projects.  Duke Riley, After the Battle of Brooklyn, November 1 - December 22, 2007; Magnan Projects, Libertas Aut Mori, 2007, composite tile and acrylic on wood panel, 96 x 96 inches, Courtesy of Artist and Magnan Projects.)

Posted by Yaelle Amir on 12/15/07

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I love this piece, I always bring it up at parties and people are consistently amazed! Bravo!

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