Mark Geffriaud: GB AGENCY

By Davies, Lillian | Artforum International, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Mark Geffriaud: GB AGENCY


Davies, Lillian, Artforum International


Mark Geffriaud triggered an explosion of references with the extremely long title of his exhibition, which, in its abbreviated version, reads, "All that is said is true, all the time, all the time ... on October 26th." Its opening lines were appropriated from a poem by musician and performance artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, to which Geffriaud appended the announcement of the French release date of Marie Losier's 2011 film about him, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady J aye y which documents P-Orridge's and his second wife Lady Jaye's manipulation of their bodies in order to become a single "pandrogynous" being. This is a decidedly more carnal experiment with doubling and displacement than Geffriaud ventures in his own work. But the urgency of his insistence on encounter and exchange seems equal.

In the gallery's main room, shrouded to create the effect of a cavernous space, Geffriaud created a mesmerizing scene of light, liquid, paper, and air. Four glass lenses, each of which the artist had blown with a single breath, were sparsely arranged on a simple set of shelves and filled to the brim with water. A single bulb illuminated the sculptures against a diaphanous paper backdrop that hung from the ceiling behind the almost shrinelike display. The visitor's own breath and movements around the work stirred the thin paper, causing a delicate tangle of brightness and shadow to dance across its almost transparent surface. The water-filled glass torqued spirals of light and shadow, at moments acting as a prism, extracting rays of blue. The work, The light that moves against the wind^ 2011, takes its title from the filmmaker Hollis Frampton's "pseudo-anthropological" text "A Stipulation of Terms from Maternal Hopi"; the phrase is Frampton's proposed translation of an invented cluster of black and red glyphs.

Geffriaud's Shelter, 201 1-, is an ongoing project that involves the realization of elements of an imagined house for himself. At the beginning of the exhibition, the work was just a few raw wooden boards bound around the base of one of the gallery's white columns. …

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