Phyllis Baldino

Out of Focus Everything Series: pickpoke pop, 2007, video still

The art practice of Phyllis Baldino merges performance, video, sculpture and installation.

Using humour, and implied narrativity she questions the function and meaning of every-day objects and actions, often informed by scientific or philosophical principles. In the selection of videos from the Out of Focus Everything series, Baldino takes her starting point from the ‘theory of everything’ – that attempts to unify Einstein’s general relativity (the very large) with quantum theory (the very small). In particular she looks to ‘M-theory’, one of the many chapters in this quest, which suggests that we may be living in eleven dimensions. As the title of her silent video series implies, Baldino explores what existence in eleven dimensions might look like. In these videos, which she has described as drawings, Baldino takes brief lengths of live footage that she manipulates in post-production to achieve highly abstracted results. Several of these sequences pay homage to monuments of the past. In one we recognize the geometric coffering of Rome’s Pantheon juxtaposed with the ebb and flow of tourists, in another cascades from the Trevi Fountain, and in a third Baldino walks the partially submerged length of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. The stationary monuments juxtaposed with the movement of human forms, chance incidents, the motion of the camera and the vivid abstract colouring of the video shorts combine to create timeless, formally disorientating visual effects that transform the idea of time and place.

Out of Focus Everything Series: panth-around another time, 2007, (video still) 10:21:21 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: panth-around another time, 2007, (video still) 10:21:21 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: blob sunset c, 2010, (video still) 2:46:21 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: circle kiss, 2010, (video still) 7:16:28 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: for roebling, 2010, (video still) 0:47:15 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: muse moat, 2010, (video still) 6:00:25 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: picabia-abia, 2010, (video still) 1:50:10 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: skinny music, 2010, (video still) 2:20:28 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: to from svengali’s, 2010, (video still) 4:15:22 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: trwa, 2010, (video still) 9:27:24 minutes, colour/silent

Out of Focus Everything Series: xylem ignores, 2010, (video still) 3:33:14 minutes, colour/silent

Phyllis Baldino lives and works in New York. She is currently in the exhibition Do/Redo/Undo at Wiels, in Brussels (05.08-06.06.2010). Baldino is included in the section that features ’45 Years of Performance Video from EAI’ , which was also at PS1 in New York (01.11.2009-26.04.2010). She has exhibited internationally including shows at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA (1994); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); SoHo Guggenheim, New York (1997); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (1997); Brooklyn Museum of Art (1997); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1998, 2002); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1998); Whitney Museum, New York (2000); Malmo Konstall, Sweden (2000); Bootlab, Berlin (2005); De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007-2008 – travelling show); Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago (2009); PS 1, New York (2009). Her first solo museum exhibition was held at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati (2001); her work is in collections including the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.