Martin Murphy: Don't Forget To Crash

March 13, 2010 - April 3, 2010

Opening reception March 13, 2010, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Image above: Still from Crash, 2010, Single Channel Video

Martin Murphy's Don't Forget to Crash is his first solo show at Dorsch Gallery. The exhibition features four videos and three sculptures. Murphy's imagery is crisp and haunting, while the psychology drawn out in his works points to the fragility of human sanity. With his knowledge of video and film media, Murphy explores the possibilities of creating a browsing video show. He does this by pairing the narrative capacities of sound and moving image with sculptural components, providing the pieces of a story to be completed by the viewer. In effect, he lights a fuse; the bomb is in the viewer's mind.

In Russian Halls, a line of scrolling text accompanies video footage that seems to track the peripheral vision of someone walking or running down the hall of a Cold War era sanitarium. The voice over is in Russian, so we focus on the text below, reading it as subtitles, so that the video above becomes peripheral for the viewer as well as the subject. The first person text relates the traumatic experience of witnessing arson. He cannot see well, but he hears well. We learn he's locked in the sanitarium for repeating things. The repetition motif is part of the structure of the video itself - the loop. As the text and imagery cycles through the video loop, the artwork immerses the viewer in its projected state of mind, which cannot distinguish the memory from the effect of that memory.

Martin Murphy explores the potential of media in its relation to sculpture in conversation with historic figures in the history of video such as Bruce Nauman and Tony Oursler. His practice also engages with film - Hitchcock certainly comes to mind. He has a Bachelor's from Kansas City Art Institute (2005) and a Master's in Fine Art from Hunter College, New York (2009). Much of the work in this show was developed in the year since his graduation from Hunter. He has had two previous solo exhibitions, both in Kansas City, MO. His work has been included in group shows around the country, as well as in "Last Day of Magic" at the 53rd Venice Biennial in Italy and "Destruction Show" at the HBC Center in Berlin, Germany. His work "Today's Face," had a notable appearance in Art in General's elevator, which is a reliably well-curated video art venue. He recently received the Tony Smith Award from Hunter College. Raised near Chicago, Illinois, Murphy now lives and works in New York.

Below: Crash, 2010, video (7.7MB .mov, click to play)

Martin Murphy:Crash

Martin Murphy

Russian Halls, 2010, video installation, 30 x 37.25 x 1.5 inches

Martin Murphy

Deep Forest, 2010, mixed media, 14 x 24.5 x 12 inches

Martin Murphy

Pathlights, 2010, mixed media, 14 x 24.5 x 12 inches

Martin Murphy

Still from Meridians, 2009, video installation

Martin Murphy

Installation view: Meridians, 2009, video installation

Martin Murphy

Asylum, 2010, mixed media, 13.25 x 11.25 x 6 inches