robbinschilds

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thru Aug 21:

Organic Situation

Koenig & Clinton, 459 W19th St., NYC

Group Show including: Tyler Coburn, Peter Dreher, Zoë Ghertner, Geoffrey Hendricks, Margaret Honda, Kelly Jazvac, Denise Kupferschmidt, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Miljohn Ruperto, Peter Scott, A.L. Steiner + robbinschilds, Jonathan Bruce Williams

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Joseph Campbell’s 1949 The Hero with a Thousand Faces frames the classic pattern inherent to the ‘Hero’s Journey’- a trope utilized in narratives that cross time and location. Termed Monomyth (borrowed from a line in Joyce’s 1939 Finnegan’s Wake), Campbell breaks down such narratives into three distinct and fleshed out sequences:  Separation/Departure, Initiation, and Return. JR

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In robbinschilds’s latest exhibition, featuring the video I came here on my own., 2012, a freestanding wall-size screen bisects a darkened gallery, making mirrored halves of the space, each with floorboards running out like lines to end in simple benches against the walls on either side. Visitors step into a structural echo of the world found on the screen, inhabiting one half of a split frame, the other of which is invisible to us, and yet we know it is there.

The work plays unendingly with singularity and with the existential presumption of being alone. It subverts both the terms of its title and the seemingly solitary figures we follow in the frames by being always double: reflecting a twoness that refuses resolution and radically questions any facile distinction between same and different, self and other, figure and land. Two frames, separated only by a thin black line, hold often-mirrored images of inventively fashioned single agents traversing patterns across tactile topographies that range from scorched cliffs to snowy woods, true to robbinschilds’s exquisite imagemaking sensibility. Playing with both legend and epic as much as Land art and lone-man narratives, the work follows the figures through the far reaches of a queered world where even the earth is feminized: yawning open a leglike V of lake or mountain, snaking yonic forms around the mirror’s dividing line. An oneiric anthem composed by A.V. Linton swells and thins with haunts of elfin chants and hints of Andean bells.

Nearing the end of the loop, the individual in each frame walks across a sea of grass that ends in a lace of black sand to kneel and bury a necklace, wedding both to another search, a future journey. In a masterful edit, the frames then fade to white, only to surprise us moments later when the white pause in the loop seamlessly becomes the white of snow, crunching beneath the weight of the figures as they are thrown back into their frames to begin the journey, the being alone together, again.

Litia Perta

We are so excited to be a current Artforum Critics Pick! and think Litia’s description of show is just lovely.