Victor Burgin at Cristin Tierney
In 1967, Victor Burgin typed some directions on a pair of index playing cards: “A path alongside the ground, of proportions 1×21 models, photographed. Images printed to precise measurement of objects and prints hooked up to flooring in order that photos are completely congruent with their objects.” He referred to as it Photopath, first realizing the piece on the coarse hardwood of a good friend’s residence in Nottingham, England. A one-to-one map within the model of Borges, the work served as a type of Conceptual catwalk, testing new methods of website specificity, self-reflexivity, and dematerialization. Regardless of fast entry to the canon—abetted by its 1969 inclusion within the London leg of Harald Szeemann’s epochal “When Attitudes Grow to be Kind”—Photopath is never reincarnated; the final time New Yorkers encountered it was within the 1971 Guggenheim Worldwide Exhibition, put in on the museum’s spiraling concrete ramp.
Now, Photopath has lastly returned to an intimate, noninstitutional setting, lent startling prescience in a world awash in simulations generated by text-to-image algorithms. Conceived below the supervision of the octogenarian artist, this one-and-a-half-by-thirty-one-and-a-half-foot model diagonally bisects Cristin Tierney’s small, bay-windowed room (I imagined an enormous model slicing throughout New York’s Federal Plaza, à la Serra’s Tilted Arc). Guests are inspired to stroll round or step over the picture stream, which is matte completed and, in contrast to earlier iterations, inkjet printed in coloration. Burgin has written persuasively in regards to the interdependence of phrases and pictures; each in the end betray Photopath, which is at all times destroyed after exhibition. As David Campany notes in his current ebook on this piece, documentation of Photopath—similar to Elisabeth Bernstein’s beautiful set up shot for this present, by which the picture falls like a shadow throughout daylight puddled on the pine flooring—turns into inextricable from the work itself. Just like the planks of Theseus’s ship, Burgin’s limen stays eternally suspended between actuality and illustration, reconstruction and void.