Gary Hill. Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place. 1990

Gary Hill Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place 1990

  • Not on view

The components of the body displayed on sixteen monitors in this video installation are without any apparent distinction. They belong, however, to the artist. The arrangement of images on the monitors, which are of various sizes and stripped of their casings, does not follow the organization of the human body. Representations of Hill's ear and foot lie side by side; tucked modestly behind them is an image of his groin. Within this unassuming configuration, each raster invites meditation. For example, on one screen a thumb plays with the corner of a book page. By concentrating the viewer's attention on such a rudimentary activity, Hill causes the movement to take on the significance of a much larger event. The ceaselessness of the activity is an illusion in that each component exists only as a seamless loop lasting five to thirty seconds.

Long, nervelike black wires attached to each monitor are bundled together like spinal cords. They snake along a shelf and disappear from view at the back of a recess. This electrical network emphasizes the presentation of body parts as extremities without a unifying torso. The hidden core to which the components of the body are attached serves as a metaphor for a human being's invisible, existential center: the soul. Reinforcing the living quality of the installation is its textured composition of ambient sound.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 335.
Medium
Sixteen-channel video (black and white, sound), sixteen black and white TV tubes and wires
Dimensions
Recessed in a wall 42" (106.7 cm) from the floor, overall 16 x 53 3/4 x 68" (40.6 x 136.5 x 172.7 cm).
Credit
Gift of Agnes Gund, Marcia Riklis, Barbara Wise, Margot Ernst and purchase
Object number
297.1997
Copyright
© 1990 Gary Hill
Department
Media and Performance Art

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