Chicago Reader, March 21, 2003
Gary Hill and Joshua Mosley
Gary Hill once said, "Although my art is based on images, I am very much involved in the undermining of those images through the use of language." And that's what he does in the video installation Twofold (Goats and Sheep), in which we see someone using sign language to communicate a text Hill wrote while Hill's recorded voice recites the same text. The image demonstrates how signs make words seem concrete, but the text – a confusing amalgam of phrases such as "the right hand left a sound in a hole that bleeds the left hand back into the sound" – shows how language can fail to convey meaning. Donald Young Gallery contrasts Hill's work with that of up-and-comer Joshua Mosley. Both artists have intellectual motives, but where Hill carefully avoids storytelling, Mosley uses Kafkaesque narratives. His film Commute superimposes clay figures on vivid backdrops drawn in charcoal. The story's hero (modeled after the artist) takes a tour of the moon and, despite the tour guide's warning that "many have been lost there," climbs down a hole in search of "equilibrium." He finds zero gravity and, eventually, a cornfield. Whether or not this is what he was looking for, it's good to see video artists raising important questions.