Dimly lit, spectral interiors of an unfinished and abandoned Malaysian housing development are the subject of Simryn Gill’s series of 90 gelatin silver photos, titled “My Own Private Angkor” (2007Ð09). Like the actual Angkor ruins, these rooms mark the passing of a civilization, but instead of seeming elegiac, they offer enlivening aesthetic possibilities.
A sense of trespass connects these works to Francesca Woodman’s self-portraits in empty old homes, while accumulations of dirt on the floor and scattered vegetation hint at ritualistic tableaux ˆ la Saul Fletcher. But the domiciles in Gill’s photos were never inhabited, and she portrays them as she found themÑwith huge sheets of window glass propped against the walls, creating space-altering surfaces that recall West Coast Minimalism.
The reflected image of a tree appears like an apparition on one such pane, while a column seems to sprout branches on another, but the conceit of man being overtaken by nature isn’t forced. Instead, Gill highlights the fleeting interplay between reflection and the world outside in a way that suggests film projections or semiabstract paintings on the wall.
In the smaller front gallery, Nicole Cherubini presents four new ceramic sculptures molded from various containers, including a cardboard box. The pared-down forms yield fertile results, ranging from a robotic head to a large brick with a coil of clay bent across the top like a handle. A drip of white glaze down its face makes it appear like a sloshing pail of milk or a bucket slopping white paint.—Merrily Kerr