Sam Samore

13 January - 18 February 2012

Gisela Capitain and Friedrich Petzel are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by Sam Samore at Capitain Petzel, presenting a series of new pictures and three recent short films.


On display will be a group of archival ink prints on rag paper called The Dark Suspicion – this title comes from a series of paintings by René Magritte. Samore has been inspired by Magritte’s exploration of the uncanny, his use of the unconscious and the plenitude of playing off sites of psychic repression.


In his previous photographs, Samore has concentrated on the relation of cinema to painting via a monochrome palette, by way of narration, the framing of action, character development and the suspension of disbelief. Less about cinema and more about painting, these new pictures, imbued with vivid coloration, emanate a sense of detachment and silence. Sometimes the characters charge through the picture plane with kinetic agitation, and in other images there is an arrangement of interior repose. As in Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona, Samore examines the discontinuity of the self, as it might relate to the face as a mask. We may want to impose a narrative in these pictures, but they eschew definitive storytelling. This work reveals Samore’s recent interest in interrogating the multiplicity of genders: the assigning of social roles, behavior patterns and power relations. Appearances are deceiving, and in these works on paper, we are confronted with our private projections of desire, obsession, fantasy.


In addition to the new pictures, the gallery will screen a selection of Samore’s recent short films: Compendium of Perplexities, 2011; Glossary of Delusions, 2010 and Archipelago of Enigmas, 2012. They continue the vocabulary of his current feature length films, Hallucinations/Paradise, 2010 and Mirror of Happiness, 2012. These three short films form a kind of triptych, although each stands alone. We follow the actions of characters inhabiting imaginary worlds of conflict, chance, irrationality and metamorphoses of the self. These are non-linear narratives, in the manner of fragmented fairy tales and dreams: convulsive, insistent, elliptical, repetitive, allegorical. The hypnotic music of each film enhances the poetics of the unfolding scenes – and the constant movement of the film grain articulates a voluptuous surface.


Samore’s feature film Hallucinations/Paradise 2010 was screened during the film program of Art Basel, June 2011. He has had recent exhibitions at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, D’Amelio Terras, New York; Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, Canada; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and the 10th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey. In 2006 he was featured in a solo exhibition curated by Bob Nickas at P.S.1 MoMA, New York, NY. Samore lives and works in New York, Paris, and Bangkok.

Installation Views