Gary Hill: glossodelic attractors
Image 1 / 5: Gary Hill. The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment.
Image 2 / 5: Gary Hill. Withershins [installation view at Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1996].
Image 3 / 5: Gary Hill. Remarks On Color.
Image 4 / 5: Gary Hill. Remembering Paralinguay [video still].
Image 5 / 5: Gary Hill. Switchblade.
glossodelic attractors suggests a range of meanings from the etymologies “glosso-“ (fr. Greek “language, tongue”) and “-delic” (fr. Greek “make manifest, visible”) and resonates with “glossolalia” and “psychedelic.” “Attractors,” in addition to the mathematical meaning of “a set towards which a dynamical system evolves over time (e.g., strange attractor),” connects with the “-tropic” part of “psychotropic”—attractors that orient the mind, turn the mind in a new direction. The title indicates that the selected works perform singular initiations into dynamical/lingual events. As psychotropic languaging vehicles these works reorient the mind by altering our conception of what language is. They attract possible language realities—or, rather, lingualities.”
- George Quasha, in dialogue with Gary Hill and Charles Stein
Gary Hill is internationally renowned as a pioneer in video, sound art, performance, and installation. For over four decades he has produced highly experiential works, both rigorous and sensual, that defy convention and expand consciousness. Central to his work is the relationship between the body, as a means of perceiving the world, and language, as a means of making perception concrete. glossodelic attractors includes over a dozen works that investigate how visual and verbal communication are experienced at the phenomenological level, and how that experience creates meaning.
This presentation of Hill’s work offers the broadest sampling of works from the artist’s career to be assembled in over a decade. Two large-scale installations, Withershins (1995) and The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment (2011), provide the anchor for several rotations of over a dozen additional pieces. All together, the works in this exhibition offer a focused survey of the career of one of contemporary art’s most enduring and original innovators.
As part of its mission to advance the art, artists, and ideas of its time, the Henry has a long history of engaging with artists throughout their careers. glossodelic attractors celebrates the Henry’s 25-year relationship with Hill that began in 1987 with the commissioning of DIG. In 1994, the Henry organized the first North American retrospective of the artist’s career. Works by Hill in the Henry’s collections include Tall Ships (1992) and Wall Piece (2000).