Gary Hill – Patrick Tosani

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© Courtesy of Galerie Barbara Thumm (Markgrafenstr.)
Gary Hill – Patrick Tosani

Markgrafenstrasse 68
D-10969 Berlin
January 15th, 2011 - February 19th, 2011
Opening: January 14th, 2011 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

+49 30 283 903 47
tue-sa 11am-6pm
photography, video-art


We are very pleased to announce our first participation of the gallery exchange project “Berlin–Paris, Paris–Berlin”. In cooperation with Galerie In Situ, we are proud to present Gary Hill and Patrick Tosani in Berlin. In exchange, Martin Dammann will be presented in Paris (29.01. - 05.03. 2011).

Gary Hill

Gary Hill (born 1951 in Santa Monica), one of the most accomplished artists of his generation, is regarded as a major contributor to new media art from the 1970s into the present. His early forays into the interconnections between language and electronic imaging and the discovery of a principle of “electronic linguistics” opened new territory in art, with implications for language art, consciousness, thinking, and extended possibilities in electronic composition. His work generates resonant philosophical and poetic insight as he explores the formal interplay of electronic visual and audio elements, often in conjunction with the physical body and with exploration of many aspects of “physicality.” With experimental rigor, conceptual precision, and imaginative leaps of discovery, Hill’s work in video is about, and itself comprises, a new form of writing.

Big Legs Don‘t Cry, 2005
Single-channel video installation, silent

These works involve objects that, in a sense, violate each other’s borders in unpredictable
ways, with the repetitive interaction and circular logic of their movement suggesting different readings of these veritable micro-scenes. Hinting at elements of symbology, they are “objectson the threshold of being something other than objects, ‘animated’ in a sense deeper and stranger than the technical”.
In Big Legs Don’t Cry, a pair of legs, visible only from the knee down and clothed in a brownbusiness suit and dress shoes, stand on an open book. The pages of the book pass through the pair of legs, flipping and turning as if caught in a light fluctuating breeze.

Poor Man‘s Guilt
, 2007
Mixed media

Housed within a white frustrum-shaped box with a hinged lid are five silver coins with selected images or “snapshots” of the artist beating himself up stamped on their surfaces. The front side of each coin depicts a detailed relief of the artist’s angstridden face as it is being punched with a fist. Each image is different and is encircled by one of five Latin phrases suggesting individual
as well as collective guilt (TEMPUS IN MANIBUS NOSTRIS SANGUIS EST IN MANIBUS NOSTRIS: Time on our hands is blood on our hands; FI ALIQUIS ALIUS ET CONSEQUENTER PROCEDE: Become someone else and proceed accordingly; EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS: The expression of the one is the exclusion of the other; MUNDUS VULT DECIPI ERGO DECIPIATUR: The world wants to be deceived, therefore it is.) The reverse side of all the coins completes the self-infliction with an image of the artist’s buttocks being whipped by a laurel branch and is again encircled with Latin: Ars est corpus vile: Art is a worthless body. English phrases further convolute possible meanings: A stone’s throw away from a whirlpool of errors and In wonder we wonder, perhaps an inference to “IN GOD WE TRUST” as seen on American coins and legal tender. When the box is open, a spoken text can be heard. The artist’s voice/text attacks, abuses and ridicules himself, the complicit viewer at a distance, and the ‘powers that be,’ arriving at the notion that we are at ‘peak time’(a reference to peak oil, perhaps suggesting we have limited time to change our course lest we make ourselves extinct, hence the guilt factor of ‘spending’ time making art verses direct engagement with the matters at hand – and all the ambiguity and complexity that emerges from said sentiment).


Patrick Tosani

Patrick Tosani (born 1954 in Boissy-l’Aillerie) was originally trained as an architect and has since the seventies become an established photographer who is renounded for his conceptual photography.

Tosani experiments with the transformation of things into the material of their interpretation. But in this case the material is photographic. Reproduced, the object is an image, just as it becomes text when it is described (or better, transcibed). The image then develops its own demands.
What catches Tosani´s attention is precisely the disporportion between the body and the imagination; he associates this disproportioan to all the figures metaphorical transformations.
Since the early 1980s, Tosani has developed numerous series of large color photographs. Each of these series is mnade up of precisely cropped close-ups of slightly varying examples of one type of object. Interesting yet mundane items like fingernails, spoons, scalps, drum skins, levels, shoe heels, circuits, and the soles of feet have all served him as subjects. Tosani documents these objects on a scale and with a typological exactitude that renders them extraordinary.

The series “Masks” and “Noir éitré” document starched fabrics, shirts, and trousers. Like his suite of Bodies photographs, which viewed curled-up and squatting people from the “ground‘s eye” looking up, these images similarly “pose” garments with a sculptural treatment. The pants and blouses, stiffened with glue, are rested on a surface and sculpted in a way that fills out their interior space as if occupied by a body - the shadows also being visible. The objects, though hollow, retain a three-dimensional weightiness exerted by the unusual pose. Though recognizably placed on a surface, to be photographed, they nonetheless “float” seamlessly in space. The patterns on the fabrics at times create a kaleidoscopic effect in the shirts while the unlikely modeling and angle of the pants anthropomorphize them into faces. Hence, they have titles such as Mask No. 1 and Mask No. 2.