Friday, February 13, 2015

Nature is A Discipline

James Benning & Peter Hutton
Nature is a Discipline, 2015
Installation view

Miguel Abreu Galley is showing American filmmaker Peter Hutton and James Benning’s work At Sea (2004-07) and Tulare Road (2010) on 88 Eldridge Street; and Hutton’s Three Landscapes (2013) on another location, 36 Orchard St. In order to create the distinct approaches as Hutton and Benning did in filmmaking before 1970s, the exhibition are displaying as a three-channel-video installation. Begin with the question that is there a certain reason for displaying Hutton and Benning’s work next to each other rather than Hutton’s or Benning’s own work alone in one space?

                                                      Peter Hutton, At Sea, 2004-2007
                                      Three-channel- video installation, 60 min, Edition of 6

At Sea (2004-07) is a real time documentation of Hutton’s life as a Merchant Marine. From left to right, the three screens depict the construction of a ship; the cargo’s travelling view; and a rusted ship landed on the shore. In filmmaking, those three different sections are supposed to showing one after the other. However, Hutton decided displaying them at the same time, so the viewer review time messages at one time.

Benning’s Tulare Road (2010) is next At Sea (2004-07) in the second room. At first glance, I almost consider they are still images until the rising sound of the cars and trucks passing by the landscapes. The minimalism of Benning’s video work attracts me by its sublet manipulation. As my eyes look at the three screes longer, I started to notice the differences between them, such as the weather is slightly change from dense fog, cloudy day to blue sky.

Successfully, the exhibition juxtaposes Benning and Hutton’s work in one space, allowing us to experience the interconnections about time and space of their video works.  


James Benning, Tulare Road, 2010
Three-channel- video installation, 18 min, Edition of 6


  1. Hey Lu,
    I thought this piece was really well done. Here are my reasons;
    You were engaging the reader, like when you stated a question "I begin to raise a question....are there any certain reason for displaying Hutton and Benning’s work next to each other rather than Hutton’s own work in one space?" It both shows your thoughts on the show and asks the reader to consider the question for themselves.
    also, I liked how much detail you put in. You made sure to have full names, titles of work and even the dates. I was very impress that you didn't just do it half way. Doing this makes the piece very professional.

  2. Hi Lu,
    I agree with Rachel. I think this is a really nice review. I like you gives general information of the works and its installation at first and using your own question of the show is really interesting. It make me curious about your answer and concentrate on this review so it looks perfect start of the review. Then, you illustrate the each works specifically which are including your own feeling and I really that you describe the works in order, like this part : “When I walked into the second room..” Because of this sentence I feel like in that show and it helpful to understand the gallery space and the installation.