Kristin Oppenheim Exhibition

303 Gallery (555 W 21st St.)

poster for Kristin Oppenheim Exhibition

This event has ended.

303 Gallery presents fifth solo exhibition by Kristin Oppenheim, featuring the premiere of her new installation, Bang Bang.

Seeing stars. Flashing lights; neurons swimming in primordial soup. Soft tissue bludgeoned by its own protective casing. Where’s the perpetrator? Sense her only by the growing and fading of distance; she’s quiet, away; now louder, near again. Echo-locate her on the aural plane, pulsating. Stop fighting. Choreographic hallucination. Yield to the sense of spatial disillusion. Resistance gives way to motion-sickness; the only direction to be found, for certain, is down. Down, down.

The artist draws inspiration from the eponymous Nancy Sinatra song, in which a woman laments her lover’s abandonment and recalls a childhood game. Reimagining the song’s narrative, in Oppenheim’s refrain, “I shot you down / you hit the ground”, the female narrator is both the shooter and a celebratory survivor. The “La La” lyrics are woven into the narrative like a braid, referencing the narrator’s satisfactory revenge. Complexly layered in the artist’s signature style, Bang Bang is full of motion – the flashing lights of the film were edited and composed along with the soundtrack, to tie together the experience of movement and sound within the gallery space.
Indigo dye, Singsong syllables pan as if from behind the eyeballs, scanning the sensory field. Skipping, almost. Taunting? Unhinged jouissance in those rising and falling notes, the hard enunciation of a phoneme, “tuh” or “duh,” slipping off the tongue, discharged like a bullet. But still, a certain softness. Circumspection? Or merely haunting auguries of crimes to be committed – killer off the hook, arraigned and acquitted. Your word against mine? Take me at my word; take me down. Down, down.
Comprised of a melodic vocal recording and film that evoke the strange sublimity of losing consciousness, this immersive installation blurs the lines between memory, reality and abstraction. The flashing light clip, used to create the motion of the film, represents the psychological experience of hitting one’s head and seeing stars. The circumambient environment of the work is both physically and emotionally evocative, as Oppenheim captures the sereneness of immobility, and the desperation to return.
Some echo, like a nursery rhyme, reappears across the landscape. Reach, struggle. Strain and it dissolves. Towards or away? Stay static, sloshing about, ears ringing as the sound slips through psychic gaps, widening. Gravity: the only truth-teller. The spin cycle settles, only to see you slouch, still reverberating with the tingle of a lullaby.
-Adina Glickstein

Kristin Oppenheim’s immersive installations explore the coalescence of sound and vision and the relationship between time and memory. Designed with choreography and movement in mind, and based in sound, film, and performance, her work mimics the rhythmic, evocative nature of the metaphysical realm. Hypnotic melodies and haunting vocals, often narrative phrases, are layered and twisted into repeating patterns that saturate the exhibition space, at times recreating a phenomena of the senses.

Kristin Oppenheim was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1959. Since the early 1990s, she has exhibited with prestigious institutions around the world, including the 45th and 46th Venice Biennale; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Her recent solo exhibitions include ‘Kristin Oppenheim’, at MAMCO Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Geneva, and ‘Echo’ at the Vienna Secession. In Spring 2021, Oppenheim released Night Run, a new vinyl record which features the first collection of her early sound works recorded between 1992 and 1995. Her upcoming vinyl record, Voices Fill My Head is scheduled to be released in spring 2022. Oppenheim currently lives and works in New York City.



from January 14, 2022 to February 19, 2022

Opening Reception on 2022-01-14 from 17:00 to 19:00

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