Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler: Eight, Eighteen
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
February 15 - March 15 2014
‘From the press release’
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of video work titled ‘Eight, Eighteen’ by Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler.
Eight revolves around a young girl and a house on a rainy night. In uninterrupted camera movements between the house’s interior and exterior, a storm follows the girl who is trying to salvage her ruined birthday cake. Since the time of its New York 2002 premiere at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Eight has been included in pivotal international exhibitions and has become one of the most widely recognised narrative loops in video art. In a nod to this history, the artists are re-staging the work in the same gallery space as it was originally shown.
Almost a decade later, Hubbard / Birchler decided to search for the same actor who had portrayed the young girl. They found her in Boston, where she has grown up to become a dancer. Eighteen picks up on the same character in a scene of her eighteenth birthday party. As in the work Eight, the artists have developed a narrative perspective that feels unsettled and does not come to closure. Architecture as a physical shelter continually reshaped around the young woman as she journeys between storm and sunshine, day and night, summer and winter.
Eighteen incorporates three musical compositions written in 1888 for piano by Erik Satie. The three movements in the Gymnopédies share a common structure and are regarded as an important precursor to modern ambient music. For Eighteen the music has been rearranged for acoustic guitar and is performed by one of the secondary teenage characters in the film.
In their video work over recent years, Hubbard / Birchler have been exploring looping narrative structures parallel to longitudinal studies and forms of expanded documentary. In Eighteen, these trajectories intersect, picking up on both the fictionalised role and real time development in the life of a young woman.