Magazine article Artforum International

Amit Berlowitz: Braverman Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Amit Berlowitz: Braverman Gallery

Article excerpt

Amit Berlowitz's cinematic studies inform all aspects of her solo exhibition "in between everything that is," so that her photographs appear like so many successive frames from an expansive film archive. They often resemble preparatory shots or outtakes, the sketchy conceptualization of what's to come or the discarded remains excised from the final cut. As if to underscore their transient utility and anticipated futility, they're displayed on the gallery walls like storyboards, with handwritten titles in pencil scrawled beneath them. It's this precarious temporality, appearing fleetingly as a melange of "what will be" and "what has been," that Berlowitz puts center stage.

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In place of the sentimentality one might expect from such work, each of the five series envisions this fugacious temporal zone as a banal dreamscape of nonplaces and nonevents. If there's romance involved, it emerges from Berlowitz's investigation of the insignificant as a space of possibility. For instance, "Magic Stick," 2007, consists of five black-and-white images of an Asian woman playing with a wooden stick in an unremarkable natural setting. With each shot, the woman is seen holding the stick at a slightly different angle, creating minimal dramatic action. A sense of strangeness emerges from the disjunction between the protagonist's fashionable attire and the forested backdrop. In this short-lived exile from her customary urban existence, the woman finds enchantment in the ordinary.

A similar if more didactic narrative can be found in "What should we dream of?" 2007, a sequence of seven color images showing another well-counter young woman, standing on a nondescript country road and holding cards with pithy phrases that express the fragility of dreams (I QUICKLY WENT TO WRITE DOWN A THOUGHT, AND I LET IT SLIP AWAY; I FORGOT IT). …

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