Finally, three-quarters of the way around, a shoddy entryway beckons: a wood-and-paper revolving door made to look like an oversized cheese grater. You ease through the thing gingerly, so as not to knock it down. Inside, a maze of screens leads past clothespins strung together like chicken wire, giving way to an alcove where people are watching a projected film. The film, entitled ZERO, is decidedly low-fi, with a plot that involves a fluorescent liquid churning in a blender, a Jell-O mold and a green rubber arm reaching out of a drain, pulling things down into itself. No doubt it would be a riot if you were stoned.
York-based artist Deville Cohen is the mastermind of all this, such as
it is. Yes, the installation’s amateur-chic aesthetic is intentional,
but that doesn’t mean it’s not amateur. Cohen says he based ZERO on the 1993-2002 TV series The X-Files,
but sadly, the effort is skit material, not satire—a zero-calorie
simulacrum of actual aesthetic nutrition. The show would be passable for
an undergrad new-media course, but it’s unworthy of Disjecta’s
magnificent vaulted hall, which exactly one year ago was home to Chris
Fraser’s unspeakably elegant light installation, In Passing. One-note and sophomoric, ZERO would have been more effective as a walled compound nobody could get into.
SEE IT: ZERO is at Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate Ave., 286-9449, through March 2.