michael rovner

2 November 2002 - 26 January 2003
Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Michal Rovner.

Michal Rovner was born in Tel Aviv in 1957 and has lived and worked in New York since 1988. Rovner works with film, video and photography and her subjects confront issues of identity, memory and existence. The images she uses undergo a reductive process in the original recording, rendering them residues or shadows of the original subjects. For this exhibition, figures were filmed in a desolate Russian landscape and used as a starting point in the work.

In the front room, the texture of the works creates a flat field in which figures are reduced to dark forms against a blank white space. These beautiful and haunting images mark a new direction in Rovner's work and resemble delicate charcoal drawings. Other works on paper are derived from the film Notes, a collaboration between Rovner and composer Philip Glass.

In the back gallery, the film Coexistence 2 is shown on three monitors. Here, Rovner orchestrated a large number of people to form interactive groups. The ambiguity of the action in the film makes it unclear whether these people are hostile gangs or amicable friends playing. Throughout the film, a soundtrack of shuffling feet is punctuated by the high cant of a human voice.

Michal Rovner has exhibited extensively around the world. From July - October 2002, The Whitney Museum of American Art presented a comprehensive mid-career retrospective titled The Space Between. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Whitney Biennial at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2000; The Corcoran Museum, Washington, D.C.; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; P.S.1, New York, and the Tate Gallery, London. Michal Rovner will be creating an installation for the Israel Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in June 2003.