For "In Virtual Vitro," her eleventh solo show with Esther Schipper, Angela Bulloch used the gallery's two rooms to constitute two distinct spheres. To the right were new works in characteristic Bull ochian genres, including "Drawing Machines," 1990--, "Listening Stations," 2013--, and "Pixel Boxes," 2000--; on the left, visitors encountered an ensemble of vaguely archaic-looking yet quasi-Minimalist new sculptures and wall pieces based on rhomboid elements.
By now, viewers are familiar with the ways in which Bulloch's sculpture interrelates different media and fields of perception. In the right gallery, visitors were invited to make themselves comfortable at the center of the room, where the artist had placed two large denim-blue beanbags constituting the sculpture Happy Sack Denim Re-edition, 2012. Lounging in one of them, the visitor might observe the doings of Elliptical Song Drawing Machine, 2014, or view the video In Virtual Vitro: Steffi Avatar Video, 2014, on an iPad. The latter work shows the virtual doppelganger of one of the gallery directors giving a tour of the exhibition--an intentionally disconcerting experience, once you've met the real assistant in the gallery.
Bulloch has previously applied the same strategy of virtual doubling and difference to music: In the performance The Wired Salutation, 2013, a collaboration with David Grubbs, musicians on the stage played in synch with their avatars, which appeared in a large-format projection. The music written for that piece was also present in this exhibition, though inaudibly, as the source of the impulses that compel Elliptical Song Drawing Machine--Bull och's first -Drawing Machine"--to make circular lines. Viewers could observe this process and see the drawing without hearing the underlying sound. Instead, music wafted through the space from Medium Music Listening Station: RYB, 2014--an open listening booth screened off by curved yellow felt curtains, in which a red turntable was set up on a blue console in front of three wall-mounted records produced by Bulloch's label, ABCDLP, which visitors were welcome to play.
Two-Pixel Box" works formed a sort of bridge to the distinctly different formal vocabulary of the next room: Thing One on Pixel Box Blue and Thing Two on Pixel Box Red, both 2014, are emphatically terse pieces, each combining one of Bulloch's familiar light cubes with an element from her new line of rhomboidal sculptures. One seems to be the base for the other, but it's the difference and confrontation between them that's the sculptural point: The works are about the interface between two bodies that are both made up of quadrilateral surfaces yet incommensurable.
In the second, left room, visitors found themselves in a dense and nuanced ensemble. Numerous multipartite steles up to six feet high stood here and there, flanked by felt-based wall pieces such as Grey Pair Wall Hanging 002,2014. Formally reminiscent of Brancusi, many of the sculptures probe the spatial-visual effect of irregular serial arrangements; Stack of Five MDF Painted Sculpture 004, 2014, for example, consists of five elements, each a pile of rhomboids and irregular quadrilaterals. Bulloch distorted the polyhedral structures on the computer to produce "illogical" spatial perspectives that cast doubt on the notion that the objects present an unambiguous sight from any particular point of view. Dominating the room was Hercules Wall Hanging 008, 2014, a piece of gray felt partly printed with lozenge-shaped elements and hung on the wall so that much of it rested on the floor. It similarly operates with a deterritorialization of perspective: LED lights near the top-right corner form the constellation of Hercules--but as it would appear to an observer in outer space.--Jens Asthoff Translated from German by Germ' Jackson.