As a new media artist Mark Leckey is in an interesting position. Becoming prominent in the art world in late '90s, Leckey was active during video art's transition into the 21st century, when it would become intermingled with the Internet and digital art. The results of this paradigm shift are apparent in the British artist’s first U.S. retrospective at Moma PS1.
The exhibit leaves an impression of an artist of great versatility. Each room and floor presents a completely unique environment of objects and videos to get lost in. 2010’s GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction explores the psychology of inanimate intelligent technologies, uniaddumths curates assemblages of objects and images found on the internet, and computer generated videos like Pearl Vision and Made in ‘Eaven use cgi to disrupt 3D objects, space, and materiality.
Bathed in yellow sodium lights, the top floor presents an immersive installation of sculputres and LED video works, unified in their representation of Leckey’s memory of a highway in England. These installations see Leckey producing some of his strongest work yet. Appropriately, these works are placed across the hall from the first video that gained him global attention as an artist, Fiorucci made me Hardcore, a video that formally dissected British rave culture at the time through found footage editing. In some ways Leckey has gone full circle. In their explorations of Leckey’s sensory memories of Britiain, these new works are more conceptually linked to that video than anything else in the exhibit.
In learning the tools of the new millennium, it seems that Leckey has discovered many new and ambitious way to explore his thoughts on culture, form, and space, leaving behind enough work to make for a very impressive retrospective.