This Tuesday, artists Mika Rottenberg and Jon Kessler gathered at the Performa Hub to discuss their commission project for Performa 11. Acting as artistic matchmaker, Roselee Goldberg proposed that the two artists collaborate, resulting in a poly-compartmented installation experience with live and scripted performances and a repletion of home-made science apparati. Simply titled Seven, the piece is actually a demonstration in the abundance of imagination composed of equal parts Rottenberg’s fantastical film installations and Kessler’s mechanized sculpture.
During the talk, Rottenberg and Kessler described their own desire to believe in the fanciful logic governing the narrative of the work. Kessler says the setup is “so persuasive, there’s a nineteenth century illusionism so convincing that we wanted to believe it…[there is] an alchemy in the logic.” Rottenberg charmingly called the work their “space and time machine.” Both artists- like magicians who are never reveal their secrets- stopped themselves before fully explaining how the exhibition’s contraptions worked. They did reveal that the playfulness of the final aesthetic arose out of the idea of wanting to document FedEx messengers deliver packages in real time. There is much to be gained in this exchange of somber realism for fantasy, perhaps most importantly a much-needed feeling of lightness.
Seven is on view at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery every Wednesday through Saturday until November 19th.