Form of a waterfall
Opening: Sunday, Sept. 9, 6 – 8
Sept 15; 7pm, Presentation/ discussion with Benning and Lia Gangitano
Sept. 16;7 pm a forty-minute opera composed and performed by Dewayne Slightweight
Sept.21; 7pm, film works by Jennifer Reeves
Sept. 28; 7 pm, short films and writing by Alexander Kluge.
Oct. 5; 7pm, film preview of “Unidentified Vietnam No. 18” by Lana Lin and Lan-Thao Lam
From September 9th through October 7th Orchard presents “Form of a waterfall,” an installation of drawings, video and sound works by Sadie Benning. Benning’s two-channel video installation “PLAY PAUSE” (2006), will be screened at Dia Art Foundation, 548 West 22nd Street between September 13th –15th.
“Form of a waterfall,” the title of which is derived from a phrase from the Wonder Twins animated television characters’ spoken-command-logic of transformation, explores notions of abstraction and identity in contemporary art. The drawings hover between abstract geometric studies and nearly erotic mandalas. They represent a long-developing parallel to Benning’s videos, rarely made public. Benning, who is known for her visual and auditory story telling, posits her engagement with abstraction as a performance-based exchange, in both its production and reception. Benning’s abstractions direct interrogations of identity to object-making in liberating fashion. An interactive selection of her “play/pause” audio cassettes – analog cut-ups constructed between a cassette- playing boom-box and a turntable – accompany the drawings. Benning’s live-action line-drawing video “One Liner” from 2003, which was shot with the Pixelvision camera the artist has been identified with since 1989, uses a play/pause-produced soundtrack and is an integral part of the installation.
Benning was celebrated for the Pixelvision video works she began making when she was fifteen years old. Those diaristic collages of music, self-portraiture, and anecdote reworked the graphic vocabulary of first-generation video with a queer perspective. Benning co-founded the rock band Le Tigre, incorporating many of the concerns of her video practice into their music. Benning’s intersecting of sexual note-taking with city living informed Le Tigre’s promiscuous popular music genre-bending. A solo exhibition of Benning’s large scale portrait paintings along with the premier of “PLAY PAUSE,” a video made in collaboration with Solveig Nelson, was held at the Wexner Center in 2006.
A program of evening events will be presented at Orchard concurrently with “Form of a waterfall,” including a presentation / discussion with Benning on September 15; “I Want to Know the Habits of Other Girls,” a forty-minute opera composed and performed by Dewayne Slightweight on September 16; film / video works by Jennifer Reeves on September 21; short films by Alexander Kluge newly translated by Henry Pickford, courtesy of Lili Chin and Leslie Thornton. on September 28; and a film preview of “Unidentified Vietnam No. 18” by Lana Lin and Lan-Thao Lam on October 5.