Madeline Hollander “Heads/Tails”

kaufmann repetto/ 55 Walker St.

poster for Madeline Hollander “Heads/Tails”

This event has ended.

Bortolami presents the opening of Heads/Tails, the gallery’s first exhibition with Madeline Hollander and its second presentation at 55 Walker.
Primarily known for her work in choreography, performance and dance, Hollander presents Heads/Tails, her first major exhibition without human actors. The installation consists of hundreds of used automobile headlights and taillights covering opposing walls of the gallery, illuminating in sync with the traffic signal at the intersection of Walker Street and Broadway. As cars on Walker Street brake moving West to East, the taillights will go off incrementally and erratically to match the behaviors of imagined types of New York City drivers (rushed, frustrated, texting, tailgater, lost, and an Uber driver, for example). At sunset the headlights switch to a “brights” setting, at sunrise they will revert to a “fog light” setting, just as the headlights of cars on the street do. The lights inside the gallery will mirror the lights of cars on the street, active nonstop, 24/7.

Hollander initially set out to choreograph the vehicular traffic outside of the gallery before realizing that Walker Street’s traffic patterns were already choreographed. The New York City Department of Transportation programs the city’s traffic signals using algorithms that take into account local weather, time of day, statistics from previous years, bus routes, school zones and days, bridges and tunnels, heavy foot traffic, holidays, live collision reports, etc. These programs are updated continuously with live data that controls the flow of movement throughout the city. The world is full of so much ready-made choreography that the average person often takes for granted its existence, let alone their own complicity in terms of knowing its signifiers (red, yellow, green) and following its directives (stop, yield, go).

Alongside Heads/Tails, Hollander will show a suite of watercolors that function as notations and studies for the installation. For Hollander, a synesthete (someone for whom stimulation in one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway), color and seemingly abstract forms have the capacity to signify with the specificity of language. Some drawings feature sequences of bodies moving through space, along with detailed drawings of hand gestures, while others illustrate grids of headlights or grids of multicolored circles that function as graphemes. Made in preparation of the exhibition, these works suggest a correlation between the city and the body as a corpus, full of arteries, constantly in flux.
A text by Hollander’s frequent collaborator, A.E. Benenson, will accompany the exhibition. The text addresses
The text is presented alongside a small bronze statue of Mercury, one of 104 of its kind that adorned the tops of streetlights along
Fifth Avenue from 1931-1964, and have since mostly gone missing. When live human traffic controllers who used hand signals to wave on drivers were supplanted by automated light signals, the statues of Mercury with his hand outstretched maintained the notion of a human form directing other bodies, inculcating the figure in this new technological era. Hollander posits that the body and technology have always been entwined.
Madeline Hollander (b. 1986, Los Angeles) has had solo exhibitions at Artists Institute, New York (2018); Bosse and Baum, London, UK; and SIGNAL, Brooklyn, NY (2016). Her work has been featured in the Whitney Biennial curated by Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta (2019), Helsinki Contemporary, Finland (2019), the Work Marathon Festival at the Serpentine Galleries in London (2018), and Centre Pompidou Metz, France (2019). As a choreographer, Hollander has collaborated with Jordan Peele on his feature film Us (2019) and Urs Fisher’s immersive installation PLAY at Gagosian, New York (2019) and Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, CA (2019). She has previously worked as a corps de ballet dancer at the Barcelona Ballet, Spain and Los Angeles Ballet, CA. She recently choreographed a new ballet, 5 Live Calibrations, for Los Angeles Dance Projects in Los Angeles, that premiered at the Theatre Champs-Elysees, Paris, and the Louvre, Abu Dhabi. Upcoming projects include exhibitions and performances at The Shed, New York and ARCH Athens, Greece.



from January 10, 2020 to February 22, 2020

Opening Reception on 2020-01-10 from 18:00 to 20:00

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use