Saturday, November 10

Brody Condon: 3 Modifications

Brody Condon
Virgil de Voldère


Anonymous said...

Virgil de Voldère
526 West 26th Street, Chelsea
Through Dec. 15

Brody Condon is one of several new-media artists who hack into and transform existing software, drawing parallels between virtual violence and actual military technology. In the more peaceful and contemplative “3 Modifications” he uses current computer games to update Northern European masterpieces by Dieric Bouts, Gerard David and Hans Memling. Mr. Condon’s digital tableaux vivants—he calls them “self-playing video games”—draw unexpected connections between the iconography of Flemish masters and the quasi-religious fantasy worlds on our screens.

To his credit Mr. Condon does not simply animate the paintings. He reworks and restages them, replacing the Christ in David’s baptism scene with a diseased, potbellied creature, or dramatically enlarging the heavenly gates from the left panel of Memling’s “Last Judgment” triptych. Motion is kept to a minimum: water rippling, bodies dancing in place.

“Resurrection (after Bouts)” works best, perhaps because the smaller scale of the projection allows for sharper, more painterly imagery. In the original a red-robed Christ is shown rising from the tomb; in Mr. Condon’s version an androgynous blue figure demonstrates the yoga “tree” pose next to a blazing campfire and indifferent spectators. Even viewers who are not intimately familiar with the Bouts will grasp the late-medieval references and the idea of an infinitely resurrectable avatar.

Karen Rosenberg
New York Times
November 23, 2007

Anonymous said...

The obvious problem with this review is that the author is only being descriptive, not analytical or critical. Secondly, I don't think she looked at the source painting for the Bouts painting: the yoga woman isn't Christ--she's the angel. Granted, there's only so much you can say in three paragraphs, and the three works in this show really demand extended viewing....