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Back to Reviews 96

letter from paris
by Jeff Rian

melanie cousell
at jennifer flay

Every hour on the hour from five to eight in the evening the Jennifer Flay gallery showed English artist Melanie Counsell's 110 Euston Road, London, NW1, a three-and- a-half minute, 8 mm black-and-white movie (transferred to 16mm), titled after the location where it was shot. The film is projected from the office through a hole in the wall; it shows a view from the roof of a 15-story building from which Counsell uses the camera like an roving eye. The image goes in and out of focus and has the look of one of Gerhard Richter's blotchy monochrome paintings of cities. As the camera moves you enter a disorderly perspective-the feeling of a lonely tourist or a depressive considering distance down; a character more interested in forgetting than remembering. Counsell's film both expands and compresses the perspective so that you feel cast in the perceiver's detachment. It's a beautiful, ephemeral, and strangely tactile film that is just long enough to concentrate and focus your attention and intense enough to stay in your mind thereafter.

JEFF RIAN is a writer living in Paris.