The Fussy Eye: Gary Hill, Part II, at the Henry

A French movie star is spotted!

Part II of Gary Hill's career retrospective glossodelic attractors introduced eight new video installations earlier this month. Whether you've been to Part I or not (the two biggest pieces are still there since the March opening), see this update before it closes. The Seattle artist is all about sensory confusion, when what you're hearing and seeing don't correspond. Upon entering, the five video panels of Circular Breathing are a visual assault; your eye scans for familiar figures, but the flicker resists any familiar pattern (narrative or otherwise). A little girl's voice says, "Remembering is not a mental process," even as you're trying to recall earlier images in the stroboscopic series. (In the Switchblade gallery, the flickering video becomes overwhelming—it's easier to close your eyes and just listen to some medical condition being described.) Depth Charge is the newest piece, with guitarist Bill Frisell rendered as a blue laser figure on the wall. In contrast to his long, dreamy solo, five monitors on the floor show Hill, also on the floor, trying to answer questions while apparently tripping hard on LSD. ("I just want to be dead!") Connecting it all is a tangle of cables (step carefully), like a tangle of neurons or tangled perceptions. The five snippets of conversation are all out of phase, so you skip forward and back in time while pacing the gallery. The most calming videos are of the great French actress Isabelle Huppert (Is a Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky and Loop Through). She's utterly silent and inscrutable, almost entirely still, staring back at you imperiously. Her gaze defeats ours. 

 
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