Tractor-beamed skyward


Denis Darzacq, Hyper No.20, 2007. 50 x 40″.

Denis Darzacq’s Hyper exhibition, at the Laurence Miller Gallery, ventures into the supermarket. Obviously this isn’t your average grocery store. Bodies pause mid-air near the frozen food, bend at freak angles, levitate toward the top shelves. But why, of all places, in this place? Darzacq seems to be casting his solitary souls into Andreas Gursky’s famous panorama of merchandise.


Andreas Gursky,99 cent, 1999. 6′ 9 1/2″ x 11′.

Too many choices and desires overwhelm us, Gursky’s rainbows of sugar and plastic tell us. Putting people in the foreground, not things or crowds, Darzacq renders this same feeling in a more haunting style. There’s something empty and creepy about our zombielike urge to accumulate, and here that emptiness and creepiness is given form: the subjects are tractor-beamed skyward by unseen forces; their faces swivel mysteriously away from us; a sickly fluorescent light refrigerates every composition; the aisles are cleared, you suspect, even of sound. These tableaux vivants, like those of Gregory Crewdson, remind you that the ordinary world we’ve taken for granted is, on closer inspection, a good deal more surreal than we notice.


Denis Darzacq, Hyper No.3, 2007. 50 x 40″.