In her materials-oriented updating of 1960s light and space art, Rey Akdogan uses common industrial products—lighting gels, plastic sheeting, fluorescent rods and the like—to often memorable effect. Her current show at MoMA PS1 consists of a one-room installation and a projection piece in an adjacent darkened gallery. The latter, Carousel #5, is an absorbing 13-minute sequence of handmade slides, each a tiny, reductivist abstraction made from scraps of transparent packaging and theatrical gels. The installation, off set, is a collection of altered readymades and architectural interventions, among them the frame of a hospital privacy screen decorated with a few strands of tinsel; a thin, white plastic curtain hanging from a fluorescent lighting fixture mounted high on a wall; and the application of orange-colored gels to the lower panes of the room’s two windows—one of which is open.
If the installation seems slight at first, give it a little while. On the day I visited, what initially appeared inert came to life, as the angle of the sun changed and the wind came up. A strip of orange-tinged light lengthened across the floor, making the glow of the fluorescent bulb behind the curtain look greener in contrast. The aluminum structure of the privacy screen turned to matte gray as if it had been painted, while the wildly blowing tinsel flashed sliver and orange. Time, it turns out, is the most important element in Akdogan’s newest work, which rewards sustained viewing.—Anne Doran