Marcel Dzama and Video Library Press Release
March 18—April 18, 1998
The gallery will open on March 18th with an exhibition of recent drawings by the Canadian artist Marcel Dzama (born 1975). This is the artist's first solo show in New York. Dzama's work is also currently included in a group show, "Spring Selections '98" at The Drawing Center in New York.
The drawings are rendered in simple outlines and muted colors on notebook size paper, which have the appearance of pages torn out of the artist's sketchbook . Dzama introduces a cast of idiosyncratic creatures that participate in both bizarre and banal acts. The artist creates a surrealistic world where humans, animals and hybrids coexist, such as a donkey-headed man dancing with a young woman, and a man talking to a cow-headed creature.
Although the characters and situations are often repeated, the drawings do not adhere to a sequential narrative. In fact, as suggested by The Los Angeles Times critic, David Pagel, the drawings "look as if [they] belong to an unfinished children's book, aborted not because [they] depicted events too grim for kids but because the artist himself had no idea where the narrative was going. Rather than being a drawback, this sense of unfinished business is one of the best things about Dzama's art."
In the back gallery, David Zwirner will present a Video Library for the duration of the exhibition. The gallery has asked artists, curators, writers, and collectors to compile lists of videos that they consider crucial for a library of both historic and current single-channel works. Many of these videos will be available for individual viewing on various monitors. A librarian will be on hand to play any tape from the library on request. On various occasions through the last five years, the gallery has featured exhibitions of singlechannel video. Since there has been a remarkable development of this medium towards a greater audience, the gallery would like to provide an opportunity for its public to view these works in one place.
The following people have helped put this Video Library together: Mike Ballou; Electronic Arts Intermix; Dan Graham; Kate Horsfield; Chrissie Iles; Kasper Koenig; Carole Ann Klonarides; Greg Linn; Clayton Press; and Diana Thater.
Works by the following artists will be on view: Vito Acconci; Michel Auder; Lutz Bacher; Sadie Benning; Dara Birnbaum; Skip Blumberg; Angela Bulloch; Peter Campus; Stan Douglas; Juan Downey; Jeanne Dunning; Fischli and Weiss; Terry Fox; Gilbert and George; David Hammons; Joan Jonas; Mike Kelley; Mark Leckey; Paul McCarthy; MICA TV; Matt Mullican; Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik; Raymond Pettibon; Steven Pippin; Raphael Montanez Ortiz; Tony Oursler; Pipilotti Rist; Kay Rosen; Martha Rosler; Rikrit Tiravanija; Steina and Woody Vasulka; Bill Viola; Gillian Wearing; Lawrence Weiner; Franz West; Jane and Louise Wilson; Bruce and Norman Yonemoto; Heimo Zobernig; and others.