Marcel Dzama has long done what only few of the best surrealists did: reconcile apparently incongruent elements resulting in a fusion that is simultaneously impossible and poetic, poignant and incoherent. Even the Ghost of the Past continues to meander playfully between the innocent and the perverse, the political and the comic, but goes a step further.
With a successful move from two-dimensional work to installation and film and video, Even the Ghost of the Past has a pairing of elements even more unique than past works. In his not quite narrative film installation one senses a yearning for a not so distant past and the presence of a menacing omen of ill tidings. With an installation that includes nods to Duchamp and is full on dioramas, Dzama has made a show that seems to embody the oxymoron of our time: nostalgic foreboding. It reminds us that looking back can often prepare us for the most troubling of futures.
- Keith Miller
(*Images, from top to bottom: Marcel Dzama, Even the Ghost of the Past, March 6 - April 19, 2008; David Zwirner, First Born, 2007, Diorama, Image Size 41 1/2 x 31 1/2 in, Edition of 5, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York. Marcel Dzama, Even the Ghost of the Past, March 6 - April 19, 2008; David Zwirner, Minotaur, 2008, Plaster, gauze, rope, fabric, chair, bucket, paint brushes; Courtesy David Zwirner, New York. Marcel Dzama, Even the Ghost of the Past, March 6 - April 19, 2008; David Zwirner, The Hidden, the unknowable and the unthinkable, 2007, Ink, watercolor and graphite on paper; Image Size: 4-part drawing, each 13 3/4 x 10 5/8 in, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York.)