The first time I discovered the video art of Sue de Beer was at the now defunct Whitney at Altria in 2005. I remember entering the space, a dollhouse wonderland of beanbag chairs and a shag rug. I recall laying comfortably on a beanbag chair and settling down to watch Black Sun three times. Last night, I was joined by CeCe Chin at The Park Avenue Armory for The Ghosts Sue’s first exhibition in NY since representing the Marianne Boesky Gallery at the Armory in 2009.

M A G I C. The Ghosts features a fractured narrative. A woven thread runs between three characters who all coincidentally cross paths via an Occult hypnotist. They’ve all experienced loss and are seeking out the chance to recall specific moments in time through a hypnotic state of subconscious.

Claire, a young protagonist who appears to be a doppelganger for Sue, explores her sexuality, captures the gaze of her once burned lover and performs a strip tease for an out of screen viewer. A teenage dream….a fantasy that is both retro, current and rings with a fetishistic familiarity similar to imagery Sue has used previous work. In a recent cover story, NY Magazine reported on PORN and the Junior-High Culture and the re-enactment of Internet porn amongst teens. It’s about desire, control and in Claire’s case, the act of leaving someone behind.

::Because you will remember and always feel her ghostly presence even when she is gone.::

The concept is so simple yet elegant and wrought with sadness.

The only criticism I have on the piece is that while the work has a low-fi aesthetic, certain edits felt a little too abrupt. Yet in between these screen cuts, were elements of a phantasmagorical universe accompanied by a soundtrack (ranging from The Cure to Simon & Garfunkel) that was completely hummable.

In a crowded room, on a white shag rug, we sat indian style until a large silver beanbag chair became available and then we stretched out…and I imagined the Ghosts that have been in my life and are sure to reappear, a faded presence from days of yore, sometime in the future.

The free screening of The Ghosts was/is on view at The Park Avenue Armory from: February 3rd until Sunday February 6th, 2011 showing @ 3:00pm and 4:00pm


All stills taken with my iPhone4.

More soon
— Posted from my iPhone