TALA MADANI, Corner Projections / 303 Gallery, New York

1 Nov – 15 Dec, 2018
303 Gallery, New York

Madani’s work posits a world where primal desires are unrestrained by convenient norms. Her works are subsumed by light that points both outward and inward, at human instinct and upended social ritual. Paintings can be grotesque, violent, tender, obscene, and hilarious.

Tala Madani Corner Projection with Squares 2018 Oil on linen diptych Left panel: 72 x 72 inches (182.9 x 182.9 cm) Right panel: 72 x 144 inches (182.9 x 365.8 cm) TMA 207

For this exhibition, Madani presents new paintings and animation works. In two large corner paintings, men point handheld projectors at the wall, screens flashing in the distance. Behind the wall, short films combine live imagery with painted animations. In one of them, a group of men struggle to prevent themselves from being crushed by a giant pink penis that has fallen from the sky. In another, a man is trapped in a loop of stairs and escalators in a faceless atrium, eventually caught and dismembered by a crowd. This is one step removed, cinematic, there is an audience looking on; there’s something natural in it all.

Tala Madani The Ascendant 2018 Oil on linen 20 x 17 inches (50.8 x 43.2 cm) TMA 228

In a group of paintings, infants are portrayed innocently discovering their imagination. One child crawls toward a light source with his hand outstretched, projecting a mammoth shadow of himself. Another canvas shows a billboard of a child carving glowing lacunae into a body, multiplying the sun. These base instincts hold a puerile allure, where a lack of inhibition is infantile and callow, but also human and liberating. You find these humans crawling into glowing gas ovens to stick their heads inside, returning to a fetal posture of sincere and relatable ignorance. Exploring from beginning to end.

Tala Madani Corner Projection with Prism Refraction and Buckets 2018 Oil on linen diptych Left panel: 72 x 72 inches (182.9 x 182.9 cm) Right panel: 72 x 144 inches (182.9 x 365.8 cm) TMA 208