Hilary Lloyd: Dock Lands

Greene Naftali

508 West 26th Street, New York

May 26 - June 24, 2017

Greene Naftali is pleased to announce Dock Lands, Hilary Lloyd’s first exhibition with the gallery. For over two decades, Lloyd’s videos and slideshows, protracted and distilled, have simulated the gaze in their singular studies of incidental impressions. Staged among foregrounded and fetishized technological apparatuses—including monitors, projectors, and cables—Lloyd’s installations implicate the body in the act of viewing, directing the viewer to physically navigate her various screens while activating the senses outside of vision and hearing. Taking as her subject matter her immediate surroundings, Lloyd’s videos closely study quotidian scenes, expanding minor moments to capture fantastic details such as distortions in recorded light, and examining objects and figures with an intimacy that implicates the tactile as well as the visual. In recent years, Lloyd has experimented with a raw and amplified aesthetic, introducing Photoshop animations, saturated colors, and tie-dyed textiles—allowing their plain artifice to further highlight the documented reality of her unedited footage. Lloyd’s expansive installation in Dock Lands navigates various screen images and material surfaces, oscillating between virtual and actual, mimetic and literal, representative and symbolic—in an exploration of perception and its boundaries.

Upon entering Dock Lands, the viewer first encounters two lengths of tie-dyed hot pink and black fabric, hanging from an oddly obtrusive frame of industrial wall studs—in a nod both to cinematic curtains and to aesthetics claimed by psychedelic and punk subculture. Beyond this initial obstruction are paraphernalia suggestive of a rock performance: a tangle of cables, tall set of speakers, and a subwoofer. Various spatial interventions stretch across the area of the gallery. Another stud construction—in which Lloyd has embedded two overlapping wooden cutouts, among many strewn about the gallery—extends toward a rear wall of the gallery. Running across the top of the back wall is a banner, which rounds the corner of the room and stretches across the length of the adjacent windows. Aurally, one hears a dog barking and a cover of the 1936 Fred Astaire song, “We Saw the Sea”—relating the exhibition’s soundtrack to her playfully embellished dog photos and stenciled anchors, Lloyd uses sound not as diegetic but as associative and symbolic. Though it fills the space, the soundtrack in fact originates from Mile High Club (2017). Projected low on the floor and at a small scale, Mile High Club turns Lloyd’s lens on an airport runway as seen through a plane window, exploring a romanticized notion of arrivals and departures. Emphasizing texture, activating every part of the gallery space, stimulating yet confusing one’s hearing, and obstructing natural pathways, Lloyd’s installation renders viewing an active and physiological experience, upending cinema’s paralysis of the viewer and singular focus on the screen.

The works on view (all 2017)—projections into inconspicuous corners, layered onto one another, or played on a flat screen and leaning against a column—often foreground light, and its apparent discontinuities once translated through a lens. Blossom is swaying florals, brightened and blurred to pink impressions by hot white sunlight. Joanna is a young woman wearing various dresses—some of them echoing the nautical theme of the installation—and holding them up to the camera. At several points, Joanna takes a clothed shower—scenes that are at once sexually heightened and a continuation of Lloyd’s ability to draw out material details. Scarves, like Joanna’s clothes, echoes the textiles that populate the literal space of the gallery. Coots plays in the back room, projected along with a simple line drawing of a cat. Panning up and down on a duck pond in early morning light, the video’s soundtrack again belies its image, overlapping a low bass line, crashing ocean waves, and whipping winds, onto the more congruous sounds of small birds chirping.

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