Premiering on March 26th will be Chivas Clem's video, Library/Night, 2011. Set to a score by Morton Feldman, the piece is loosely based on a scene from Foul Play, a 1970's comedic thriller with Goldie Hawn. Clem uses the public library of his hometown of Paris, Texas as the setting for this short narrative in which an albino pursues a librarian through the labyrinth of stacks. The backdrop documents a peculiar index found in a small-town library's collection, with its strange, coincidental pairings of biographies; Calvin Klein and Melanie Klein, Tammy Wynette and Malcolm X. The fetishizing camera equates the librarian's body with the books, seducing the viewer with titles as one would the figure. Borrowing the traditional Hollywood tropes of the thriller genre, the video idiomatically contends that suspense, according to Roland Barthes, is itself about language, a delayed form of pleasure. In Library/Night writing itself serves as a kind of protagonist, a mute potential victim. Knowledge itself becomes metaphor for danger within the confines of this provincial community. In one scene, the librarian drops The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin's seminal text of feminist paranoia. Like Stepford, Paris morphs from charming little country town into fantasy of psychotic unchecked male authority, manifested by the Aryan cipher as menace. The theatrical staging and noir cinematography employs a campy nostalgia which heighten the fading romance of library-as-institution; a utopian shelter as digital media hastens its destruction. Additionally, Clem will display a sculpture TOTEM, 2011, comprised of nearly 1000 8-track cassettes, another example of an obsolete entertainment as a glamorous ruin.
Clem's limited edition artist book, THE BOOKSTORE, has been published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Chivas Clem lives and works in Paris, Texas and New York. This is his second solo exhibition with maccarone. For further information, please call 212 431 4977.