Bitforms gallery on April 12 launched “A Coded Language,” Beryl Korot’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring paintings on traditional and handwoven canvas, video, and drawings with ink and thread – highlighting the breadth of the artist’s practice across multiple media forms from 1980 to 2017.
The works on canvas represent a period of her work in the 1980’s which is virtually unknown and are shown for the first time together in this exhibition.
Beryl Korot, who is married to composer Steve Reich, has pioneered the field of video art since the early 1970s. She was co-editor of Radical Software (1970), the first publication to discuss the possibilities of the new video medium, and Video Art (1976) with Ira Schneider.
Her first multiple channel works (Dachau 1974 and Text and Commentary) were shown at the Whitney Museum (1980 and 2002), and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (2010), among others. The works explored the structural relationship between programming on the ancient technology of the loom and computer programming.
“Dachau 1974” was a four channel video work, consisting of footage taken in 1974 at the former concentration camp. The recordings focused on the symmetry of the architecture and the present ambiance of the space. Inspired by the technology of the loom, Korot combined her many separate elements (in this case video footage) to develop a piece of work that reflected the patterns of which it was formed.
“Text and Commentary” consisted of five video channels on five monitors showing Korot weaving on a loom. The resulting textiles are placed directly opposite from the monitors, with the viewer seated on a bench between the woven text of the textiles and the video commentary. The installation also included Korot’s drawings and pictographic scores, which were the basis for both the textile production and video editing. The installation was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art.
According to Korot, “Text (textus) and weave (texto) share the same latin root. Text is a tissue or fabric woven of many threads. It is a web, texture, structure, a thought, something that can be built, raveled and unraveled.”
Bitforms / 131 Allen Street, between Rivington and Delancey, NYC / Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM Sunday, 12 noon – 6 PM, Monday and Tuesday by appointment / 212.366.6939