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Dear What's Your Face / 2010

Husain’s vision for the show begins with Susan Hobbs’ space itself, a small, narrow, virtually windowless two-storey concrete box on Tecumseth Street’s gallery strip. Husain makes the first floor into a cinema, where the lavishness, decadence and intrigue are partly dependent on its audience’s imagination. Before a screen and fold-out chairs, Husain places a paper greeting on a stand; the message tells us we are about to enter an auditorium and receive an individualized letter on our seat. These are lies, of course: not only are we in a different place, but Husain’s letter is a form one, available from a photocopied stack on another stand next to the screen.

The letter connects the viewer to a hypnotic film that projects on the screen in intervals. A weird, hilarious, ultra-glamorous, Felliniesque study of a naked model, the film is in six fleeting parts, each one a tracking shot that glides dreamily towards the model as she stares back, sometimes wearing huge false eyelashes, sometimes opening or reading a letter. Between each part, the lights go up and one is left facing the blank screen, until a ding (each time a different tone) signals the film’s recommencement.

Upstairs, Husain has, displayed his scarves on racks, here vintage department-store metal spirals. Many of the scarves are inscribed with the epistolary greeting “Dear (Your Name Here)” and, in a clever move, are, at the end of one rack, tied together and strung through the floor’s open trapdoor, so that they dangle in front of the downstairs screen, linking the greetings with the paper ones by the entranceway and in the film. - David Balzer, eyeweekly

Review in frieze magazine

Dear What's Your Face / video installation - starring KAREN MONIKA camera IRIS NG make up MARGOT KEITH assistance MARKUS ZIEGLER programming JEREMY BAILEY thank you CLAIRMONT CAMERA SUSAN HOBBS IAN CARR HARRIS JEN HUTTON

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