Magazine article Artforum International

Aida Ruilova

Magazine article Artforum International

Aida Ruilova

Article excerpt

SALON 94 BOWERY

From the early Oh no, 1999, to Meet the Eye, 2009, Aida Ruilova's fast art reflections on filmic constructions of women have progressed from schooled DIY ant aesthetic to polished commercial appearance (the latter work features 1970s B-movie queen Karen Black). In their synthesis of formal and stylistic elements from experimental filmmaking, avant-garde video, and mainstream psychological thrillers and horror flicks, Ruilova's works conjure a condition of endless, narrative less suspense: Women-her protagonists are usually female-confront existential and corporeal jeopardy, often navigating spatial-temporal fields disrupted by relentless knifelike visual and aural jump cuts.

Presented at Salon 94 Bowery, Truelove's new video loop, Goner, 2010, stars actress-model Sonja Kinaki (the offspring of actress Natasha). In shooting the 35-mm film (subsequently transferred to video), the artist enlisted the services of the production company Commonwealth Projects; the result is professional, edgy, slick, and efficiently formulaic, like Saw meets Vogue.

The video opens with a low tracking shot that reveals Kin ski's scantily clad body lying facedown on a light-purple-carpeted floor. As she rises to crawl to a heart-shaped bed, blood-red stains are visible on the carpet and her shirt. Suddenly, the film cuts to a medium close-up of Kin ski's face as she confronts an unseen assailant; this point of view endeavors to make the viewer complicit with (or an extension of) the tormentor (and, in turn, the artist), and foreshadows a proliferation of intercepting that shreds temporal logic and at once splinters and compresses an already claustrophobic space of representation (the bedroom or hotel unit). Next, Kinaki is shown lying in bed, her T-shirt no longer blood-stained--does this suggest temporal asynchrony, or that it's all a dream? At another moment, she is dragged across the room by the invisible force-is she possessed? Often the camera moves toward her, And she seems to be receiving invisible blows to the face and stomach. There is an economic, high-velocity, graphicness to the action: At one point, a knife severs her Achilles tendon; at another, she removes a knife from her abdomen, implying self-mutilation. …

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