Daniel Gordon

Birth

Birth Photograph courtesy Zach Feuer Gallery

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

In his New York solo debut, Daniel Gordon exhibits photographs of dioramas he collages, mostly from images found in the corners of cyberspace. The tableaux, crisply photographed with a 4x5 camera, are assembled without effort to conceal seams. The characters that occupy them follow suit: Most are pixilated Frankenstein monsters, each more diseased, disfigured, pasty and hairy than the next. In the spirit of cut-paper connoisseurs from Hannah Hoch to Thomas Demand, Gordon confuses distinctions between real and constructed space, adding a new wrinkle as the low resolution of the found imagery contrasts with the sharpness of his finished prints.

This effect is most evident in the least populated scenes. In Blackbird, an out-of-focus urban sunset smolders as a red-beaked bird clings to a chain-link fence next to an errant sky-blue shoelace; in one corner a disembodied hand gives the scene a thumbs-up. A satisfying dissonance between flatness and depth lends the photo the look of an early video still. In Birth, Gordon reimagines his own nativity as a cut-and-pasted head emerging from a wrinkled mess of hands, thighs and genitals. Here, Gordon takes a cue from Hans Bellmer to prove that viewers can be simultaneously disgusted and riveted by a grotesque convergence of limbs.

Gordon’s use of the current idiom of printed pixels raises a world of formal possibilities, but he has yet to construct anything more illuminating about contemporary malaise than the kind of websites he trawls for his sources. — Amoreen Armetta

Zach Feuer Gallery , through Jun 30