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Indepth Arts News:

"Rosalind Nashashibi: Eyeballing"
2005-09-30 until 2005-11-05
Counter Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

The recognition of a face in the most abstract of things is one of our most automatic responses – two dots for the eyes and a line for the mouth arranged in a mostly symmetrical manner is all that is required. Yet while there is an involuntary aspect to this act of association, in Nashashibi’s new film ‘Eyeballing’ (2005) this action of recognition presents itself as having further qualities: a searching amongst the New York landscape for familiarity, for identification, for something animate in the inanimate. Using the simplest of film techniques, but with great acuity of camera position and composition, Nashashibi allows the action of observation to be one of small revelations.

What is discovered in these reduced archetypes is a cast of personas that inhabit the forms and architecture of the city – some comic, others melancholic and estranged. Juxtaposed with these faces, and representing a reversal of this humanizing of the inanimate, is a sequence of shots of uniformed New York cops. By the very nature of being dressed in uniform there is a removal of individual character: they no longer represent themselves but the city state. It is this transformation that interests Nashashibi – how a physical body can become a sign or embodiment of an idea and how that functions in a community.

Also included in the exhibition are a series of works on paper. The abstract shapes that find their way into her drawings are there as a result of their persistence in relation to other forms and elements that drop away, a persistence representing her investment in these forms with meaning, equally wanting to produce ambiguous objects in order to promote psychological projection on the part of the viewer. Alongside the drawings Nashashibi brings together photocopies of book covers and found magazine images. They are presented without recourse to their recognized content, arranged instead in compositions and dialogues arising from a process closely approximating free association.

‘Eyeballing’ (2005) was filmed during Nashashibi’s recent Scottish Arts Council residency in New York. Her exhibition at Counter is her first solo show in London. In 2004 she presented solo shows at the Basel Kunsthalle and CCA. Glasgow. In 2003 Nashashibi was winner of the Beck’s Futures Prize.

Rosalind Nashashibi
Untitled (2003)
Collage on paper
29 x 20cm

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