His works merge the time and light of the moving image with the constancy and materiality of the painted image. In He Was a Good Man (2008) Kaleka revisits an earlier piece titled Man Threading Needle shows a middle-aged man threading a needle. The man is mostly still, intensely focused on the needle which he occasionally attempts to thread, followed by some twitches and jerks in a cycle where the past and the present run into each other in a phantasmagorical flow. The work’s wry tone tests the conventional methods of studying art and life. The surprising sensation of the brain shifting gears to accommodate a moving man and then the still painted image is almost palpable when looking at the piece. At one point the painting on canvas in the installation is lit by the projector light alone, evacuated of any video image. In another passage, the illusory depth of the painting is destroyed by the silhouetted flat shadows on the canvas, which confirm its flatness and establish the installation as an artefact, a metafiction, before the loop begins again its spell of movement and depth.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev


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