395 Valencia Street
July 16th – August 6th, 2005
Opening reception, Saturday, July 16th, 6-9pm
The Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco is pleased to present Vicious, featuring work by Virginia Kleker, Alex McQuilkin, Tracey Moffat and Laurel Nakadate. Sharing the commonality of working in video, the show focuses around the concept of the gaze. Each of the artists, albeit very differently, utilize the camera to renegotiate this concept – and use the apparatus as a weapon, either pointing it toward themselves, as a mirror, or outward – addressing the inherent power in doing so, and turning it on its head.
Virginia Kleker, known for her performances, treats the camera as a challenging eye, seeing how long, and hard she can push her body, while maintaining a conventionally feminine or “sexy” stance. Her struggles with a strip pole go beyond the obvious associations, into a terrain that is multiform and scary. Alex McQuilkin on the other hand never leaves the sexy schoolgirl that seems forever spread across the pages of male magazines– but adds blood and searing anger, self-inflicted, just like the gaze of her camera. Tracey Moffat on the other hand turns the camera outward, and hungrily turns the gaze on surfers getting (un)dressing at the beach, getting closer and closer until a hand, at the edge of the frame grabs at a towel – leaving her subject aghast, and confused at her boldness and his helplessness in front of the camera’s eye. And finally Laurel Nakadate is both narcissistic and predatory – in one video, described as “onanistic exhibitionism, very peculiar, strikingly devoid of real feeling, and disquieting”, she is seen posing like a natural born pin-up girl alone in a hotel room, In another video we see her putting herself into position to encounter men that are normally considered “desperate”, allowing herself to be partially drawn into the webs they hope to weave. They "hit on" her, and then she strikes like a trap-door spider, attacking with her own counter-proposal.