– Autumn/Winter 2005

Her Artillery

Bruce Hainley

Swords, shields and cannon fire: for Trisha Donnelly art is more than reveille. The battle began a long time ago, before she was born. It continues long after whatever the little word after means has fallen into disuse.

Drawings, video, the deployment of photographs not as pictures, actions - it would be best to consider it all, if not sculpture, sculptural: the interrogation of space (mental, physical, emotional) and its electric conquest and resistance - these are demonstrations of her tactical knowledge. Recently Karl Lagerfeld said he woke up one morning with an image of a long line of women in black, a kind of l'armée des ombres. Yes, an army of night. Glamour apocalypso. In the corps there are only various privates.

What may at first have looked like privacies, girl jumping for joy, or love singing singeing signing its tropicalia - and all of that it would be extremely well to do, even though the day were coming when the sun should be as darkness and the moon as blood - this was not what it was, or only what it was, but a call to arms to figure out video before moving on to figure out something else (not that it's ever concluded, conclusive). The technology allowed her to slow time and pinpoint the ecstasy of the performer's climax, what hurls him or her out of themselves, out of the human. It allowed her to translate place and the idea of place, an elsewhere we often remain deaf to, into a language mistaken for love, instead of the seduction of the medium and its machinery. The human is just one of the