• Date: February 03 - 06, 2011
  • Location: Park Avenue Armory: 643 Park Avenue, New York City
  • Artists: Sue de Beer
Photo by James Ewing, courtesy of Art Production Fund
Photo by James Ewing, courtesy of Art Production Fund
Photo by James Ewing, courtesy of Art Production Fund
Photo by James Ewing, courtesy of Art Production Fund

Press Release

The Ghosts is a two-channel video, which will be exhibited in the Park Avenue Armory’s historic Veterans Room. The Veterans Room’s ornate decorative motifs echo the lighting effects in the film. de Beer will create a comfortable viewing environment with soft carpet and soft seating, leaving much of the original décor of the room untouched. The Ghosts has been edited like a 'flicker film' using persistence of vision to create overlays between the images.

Sculptural elements of the exhibition will include a 'fountain' exhibited in the Armory’s Silver Room. The form of the fountain is an altered praxinoscope. A central column in the shape of a dodecagon will reflect the panoramic landscape of a glacier in Antarctica - a landscape invoked by the hypnotist in the film, and a landscape which telescopes time and vision, moving the viewer closer and farther away as the viewer moves around the central column of the object. Across the hall from the Veterans Room, in the Field & Staff room, will be a screen installation that blocks and filters light. The screen will produce some of the lighting effects from de Beer's visually intense films, but in a sculptural form.

The Ghosts takes the form of a 'giallo', telling the story of an occult hypnotist, who can retrieve lost lengths of time from peoples memories, and return them to the patient as if they are experiencing those moments anew. The story opens in a hypnotist’s office. The Hypnotist, played by noise artist and painter, Jutta Koether, has developed a kind of hypnotism that allows her to dive into the deepest parts of the human mind and find the ghosts hidden there, and has become completely irresponsible, bringing back unstable ghosts, from the minds of unstable people.

The film's main male character is a money manager on Wall Street, played by Jon Spencer of the bands the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Boss Hog (and previously of the band Pussy Galore).  He has become addicted to this hypno-therapy and dreams of an elusive woman - she so beautiful, but somehow this fantasy is uncontrollable. He keeps going back to the hypnotist, trying to have this  vision stay, and to have the fantasy simply be sublime, but often it goes wrong. Other characters in the film include a teenage girl and her sister, and a record store clerk.

The Ghosts is Sue de Beer’s first major work shot in New York City, using the city both as a location and point of inspiration.

Sue de Beer has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in such venues as the New Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, PS1/MOMA, the Brooklyn Museum, and Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in Los Angeles, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Kunst Werke, the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, and the Kunsthalle Shirn in Germany, the Neue Gallerie am Landes Museum Joanneum in Austria, the MuHKA Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, and the Museum of Modern Art, Busan, in Busan, South Korea. De Beer’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum for Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Goetz Collection. De Beer lives and works in NYC.

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New York Times
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NY Observer
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Art in America
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February 3, 2011