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On the Outskirts: Gary Hill opening at bitforms gallery

May 16th, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 18, 6 – 8 PM     
Gallery Hours: Wed – Sat, 11 AM – 6 PM & Sunday, 12 – 6 PM

bitforms gallery
131 Allen Street | New York, NY 10002

Learn more here

“Had I simply lost consciousness and awakened with a bird’s eye view of a cinematic event? Perhaps I was only peering into an optical contraption—a prototype of some kind—swimming through its seductive illusionary space having forgotten it was pressed up against my own face. Or, had I embarked on a somnambulistic journey that night? I live on the outskirts of a desert border town—a place of quietude conducive to a sleepwalk of any length that would have me nowhere in no time at all.” – Gary Hill, Cutting Corners Creates Mores Sides


bitforms is pleased to present On the Outskirts, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Gary Hill. Revered for his masterful use of diverse media, Hill skillfully crafts phenomenological encounters. His concentration on the dynamics of perception results in deconstructed image boundaries. Through this dismantling, Machiavellian elements of media, most notably surveillance and seduction, are laid bare. On the Outskirts presents the works Cutting Corners Creates More Sides and the SELF ( ) series. Five acrylic sculptures, denoted by the letters A–F, make up the SELF ( ) series. In an echo of optometry, the seemingly-clinical objects feature padded eyepieces that occupy the center of the artworks. A glimpse into their interior chambers reveals a live feed of the viewer. Embedded cameras are angled to exclude the subject’s face in a beguiling act of disassociation. The sculptures act as instruments of surveillance, yet reveal abstract reflections. This displacement is characteristic of Hill’s disregard for normative viewing processes. By eliminating self-recognition, SELF ( ) supplants instant gratification with the inspection. The series includes SELF A–F, yet omits SELF E as an effort to replace the banalities of selfie culture with disorienting portraiture.

Hill’s artworks often create exceptional viewing experiences that verge towards synesthesia. On the Outskirts unites the cunning idiosyncrasy of media with experiments in image comprehension. Cutting Corners Creates More Sidesis a mixed media installation narrated by voices emanating from a long plane of embedded speakers. A diptych of two-channel video projects a patina of fantastic shapes and colors. The images sway in and out of focus, miming myopia as the camera traverses a bizarre landscape. As the viewer attempts to match the focus of the dual screens, moments of harmony emerge in congruent instances. What once appeared as phantasmagoric color fields slowly transfigure into quotidian objects as the narrator queries, “Was it simply a question of synchronicity?”


Founded in 2001, bitforms gallery represents established, mid-career, and emerging artists critically engaged with new technologies. Spanning the rich history of media art through its current developments, the gallery’s program offers an incisive perspective on the fields of digital, internet, time-based, and new media art forms. For press inquiries, please contact info@bitforms.art or call (212) 366-6939.

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