In addition to presenting Gary Hill’s “Remembering Paralinguay” for Art Taipei 2008’s special exhibition, “Art & Tech – Wandering”, ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts presented “Language Willing”, “Church and State” and “Big Legs Don’t Cry” by Gary Hill. 

Gary Hill, Language Willing

Language Willing, 2002

Single-channel video/sound installation

HD video projector (or HD monitor/display, size variable), two speakers, and HD video server (color; stereo sound)

Dimensions:  if projected, projection size approx. 10 h. x 14 w. ft. (3.05 x 4.27 m.)


A text performed by the Australian poet-composer Chris Mann acts as a linguistic pulse for a pair of hands minding two discs, arranged side by side in a wide-format projection.  The circular shapes, covered with flowery decorative patterns, one red and one creamy white, spin bi-directionally at varying times in unison and independently. Sounding like multiple voices, the somewhat musical speech runs wild through a nonlinear array of subjects held together (and apart) by self-reflexive phrases and punctuation. The fingers move decidedly over the moving surfaces, contorting as necessary in order to touch only the flowers and leaves. The movements of the fingers and discs and the rhythm and pitch of the voice become something of a physical/verbal dance. 




Gary Hill, Big Legs Don't Cry

Big Legs Don’t Cry, 2005

Single-channel video installation, silent One 45-inch LCD monitor, one DVD player and one DVD

25 ½ h. x 43 w. inches (65 x 109 cm.)




Gary Hill, Church and State

Church and State, 2005

Single-channel video/sound installation

One 45-inch LCD monitor, one DVD player and one DVD

25 ½ h. x 43 w. inches

Although related to the earlier series entitled Liminal Objects (1995 – 98), in which black-and-white, computer-generated animated images are coupled in continuous, interactive motion, the works in Hill’s recent series (which include Big Legs Don’t Cry, 2005; Attention, 2005; Church and State, 2005; and Spoonful, 2005) are rendered in color and created specifically for a wide-screen format, flat-panel LCD screen measuring 25 ½ h. x 43 w. inches (65 h. x 109 w. cm.).  These works involve objects that, in a sense, violate each other’s borders in unpredictable ways, with the repetitive interaction and circular logic of their movement suggesting different readings of these veritable micro-scenes.  Hinting at elements of symbology, they are “objects on the threshold of being something other than objects, ‘animated’ in a sense deeper and stranger than the technical.” [George Quasha in conversation with Gary Hill]


All above photos: Courtesy Donald Young Gallery, Chicago

George Quasha and Gary Hill

Gary Hill and Nam June Paik at Art Taipei 2008

August 29 – September 2, 2008

Born in Santa Monica, California, USA

Lives and works in Seattle, Washington, USA

Gary Hill has been working with sculpture and electronic media since the early 1970’s and has produced a large body of both single-channel video works and mixed-media installations.  His long time work with intramedia continues to explore an array of issues ranging from the physicality of language, synesthesia and perceptual conundrums to ontological space and viewer interactivity. His installation and performance work has been presented at museums and institutions throughout the world, and Hill has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notably the Leone d’Oro Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1995, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grant in 1998, and the Kurt Schwitters Award in 2000.  

My primary concern is work-as-inquiry – bringing the processual space to an interactive level that includes myself, the viewer and other possible collaborators into an ontological dialogue.  I remain committed to cybernetics and the inherent nature of electronic media – real time feedback – as a rich strategy for working.  At the same time, I am interested in bringing out the fallibility of technology – making work that suggests a loss of technology.  I am also concerned with a number of dichotomies:  mind/body, material/non-material, intuition/self-consciousness, sense/non-sense, etc.

Categories: artists