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The Great Train Robbery, a silent Western film made in 1903, provides the source material for Dashiell Manley’s ongoing multipart installation and video project of the same name. The five paintings on view in the 2014 Biennial function as both a backdrop and instructions—written in an abstracted version of an early-twentieth-century shorthand—for his movements in the video, which in turn copy the movements of the actors in Scene 3 of the original film. Once filming is complete, Manley affixes the detritus left over from his process—lighting gels, plexiglass sheets, drawings, and props—to the verso of the corresponding painting, transforming the two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional object. The artist leans these against the labyrinth of open structures that define and construct the space of his installation.
The installation on view in the Biennial was originally shown in a storage unit in Los Angeles, and the narrow dimensions and layout have been precisely re-created for this presentation. Propped against beams, the paintings/objects become film sets for the viewer to wander through, just as when the artist used them in the making of his video.
Through a few moves and an incredibly sparse foundational vocabulary, Manley stitches together the typically disparate practices of video, painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, and collage. The boundaries of each become slippery and less definite, forming a network of image, action, and space rather than reducible form.
Dashiell Manley’s work is on view in the Museum’s third floor galleries.
Academy Records and Matt Hanner
Ei Arakawa and Carissa Rodriguez
Robert Ashley and Alex Waterman
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna
Paravel, and Sensory Ethnography Lab
Critical Practices Inc.
Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa
Gaylen Gerber with David Hammons,
Sherrie Levine, and Trevor Shimizu
Tony Greene curated by Richard
Hawkins and Catherine Opie
Yve Laris Cohen
My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon
and Alexandro Segade)
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Steve Reinke with Jessie Mott
Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan
Charline von Heyl
David Foster Wallace