FW Exclusive: Beth Campbell Hangs It All Out


We heard from a source close to the ground that BETH CAMPBELL’S new show at NICOLE KLAGSBRUN GALLERY was, in slyly overheard words, “different.”

Okay, so her installation of nine mobiles — a nice reclamation of the word in the wake of ZAHA HADID’S interpretation — might not look like the FOLLOWING ROOM most recently exhibited at the WHITNEY or last year’s POTENTIAL STOREFRONTS at the MAIDEN LANE EXHIBITION SPACE or her MY POTENTIAL FUTURE…. text drawings that outlined the outcome of choices like “I cancel the show” or “Make all kinds of other merchandise as well,” but her exploration of the potential and the possible, the committed and the plausible, is everywhere in these hanging sculptures made of thick and thin lengths of looped and twisted steel wire.

“They’re not a departure,” Campbell said when we asked her why she jumped from room-scale installation and wall-sized text to these articulated sculptures. “It’s all gravitating around the same subject matter.” Looking closely at one of the biggest ones, JOHN, it wobbles into sight like a moiré effect pastiched onto a dressing-room mirror. Kind of like 2004’s bathroom-mirror-replicating NEVER ENDING CONTINUITY ERROR, or the tri-fold repetition of her 2002 video SAME AS ME, in which she filmed herself doing the same day in different places.

Kind of like the rest of the mobiles, which are kind of like everything Beth Campbell does. Kind of not so different after all.