Samara Golden: The Flat Side of the Knife
Runs through August 30, 2015
For those of us who chased fairies in our backyards and played with make-believe friends, there’s Samara Golden’s two-story trompe l’oeil installation—it’s one for the dreamers. More specifically, it’s for those who fantasize about a world beyond. Peering over PS1’s small, ground-floor balcony, you can peek into Golden’s own fantasy: a shiny, large-scale fiction of a dollhouse, with staircases and furniture seemingly made out of tin or aluminum-foil, some attached upside-down to the ceiling. The staircases zig and zag, with silvery wheelchairs descending and ascending them (as if they’re about to fall over), and seascape horizons projected on the windows. At first, the interior of this house seems to be endless; it just takes a second to realize that the floor is mirrored, which makes it seem like this house has been doubled. Bottom is up, the top is down, and the floor seems to go on forever.
Maybe this all sounds like a trompe l’oeil gimmick, but I stayed with the installation for some time. From the vantage point of the dinner table-size balcony, you’re only allowed to see snippets of the house at one time. If you want to see more, you have to move…and move…and move around. Within the smallness of the space, you feel like you’re creeping, like you shouldn’t be privy to this mysterious scene. Maybe someone has died (the wheelchairs tumbling down stairs) and this is eternity (the endless ocean vistas)? What I took from Golden’s installation was a vision of eternity, but made out of stuff found in kitchen junk drawers, it shared in that unfettered making that’s so often missing in hi-def, prefab art.