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Back to Reviews 96

Installation View
of Enigmas, 1996

© ArtNet Worldwide 1997

Another Installation
View of
, 1996

kristin jones &
andrew ginzel

at tz'art

by Peter von Ziegesar

"Enigmas," Andrew Ginzel and Kristin 

Jones's first gallery show in eight years 

(they have been busy doing public art, 

including a giant flag-of-all-nations for 

the Atlanta Olympics), is a consciously 

constructivist exhibition, very fascinated 

with gadgets, with the way things work, 

including the human body--the ultimate 

gadget, one might say. In this installation 

of various mixed-medium sculptures, wheels 

spin, fans whir, water ripples, mirrors 

flash and the combined use of silvered 

glass, squares of black painted on white 

walls and plenty of gold leaf give the 

installation a clean Deco-Duchamp-Malevich 

look. The three untitled pieces that 

dominate one wall require audience 

participation. Ideally, you are about 5'6" 

(I had to squat somewhat) as you stand in 

front of each work, looking through a black 

wooden frame that is suspended from the 

ceiling, sighting along red cross hairs. In 

turn, each work gives back a different 

reflection. In  Untitled IV, you see 

yourself reflected in water contained in 

what looks like a giant watch glass (or 

might be a pristine birdbath). In Untitled 

V, you are striated by strips of mirror 

that are alternately far and near (so you 

look alternately big and small) and in 

Untitled VI, your face is cut in half by a 

sharp fold in the mirror, next to which is 

a giant nugget (turning base substance into 


Untitled I, on the opposite wall, is based 

on the commonplace knowledge that the human 

body is composed of a few pints of water, a 

few handfuls of carbon and a trace or two 

of fugitive and toxic gasses. For this 

piece, Ginzel has collected the exact 

substances that make up his own body: the 

chemicals are contained in beakers, there 

is a block of graphite and the water 

(supposedly the right amount) resides in a 

tall glass tube. What makes the piece 

interesting are the life-sized silhouettes 

of Ginzel painted, fan-like, along the 

wall. As one moves from left to right, the 

silhouettes seemingly devolve into 

Neanderthal features and also settle into 

the ground as if decaying. The whole thing 

turns out to be a trick, though, based on a 

nineteenth century optical illusion: if you 

look through the glass tube that purports 

to hold Ginzel's body water, the images are 

magically reconstituted.

As one can tell, there is a lot of alchemy 

here, both in historical reference and 

simply perceptual: one feels or sees things 

change from one substance to another before 

one's eyes. I related the pieces strongly 

to Robert Whitman's contemplative 

mechanical-illusionist installation at the 

Pace Gallery last year and to some of Bill 

Viola's religion-inspired room pieces. One 

senses a passivity that is almost Zenlike--

like a splashing Japanese fountain--and 

Jones/Ginzel's pieces provoke a kind of 

meditation response rather than merely 

piquing intellectual interest (which they 

do, too).

"Enigmas," Kristin Jones & Andrew Ginzel

Sept. 17 - Oct. 19, 1996

TZ'Art & Co

28 Wooster St., New York, NY 10013.

PETER VON ZIEGESAR is a writer and 

filmmaker who lives in New York.