Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation in The New York Times
Seeing Mr. Johnson take a press release, the love of my life said, "Didn't you already take a press release the last time?"
Mr. Johnson replied that he didn't think so.
"No," insisted Bambino. "You did take one."
I, meanwhile, am at my desk where Ken can't see me, waving my arms frantically, whispering "What are you doing??? Let him have one!!! Let him have 20!!"
I don't think the press release had much to do with the simply spectacular response Mr. Johnson has written about Eve and the team's exhibition. It's a thoughtful review that one could only have penned by taking the time to really "see" the show and connect with it, through one's own experience. In other words, it's the sort of response a dealer dreams of, and we're very happy for Eve and the fine Rufus folks who worked so hard on this installation:
EVE SUSSMAN AND RUFUS CORPORATION
‘White on White: The Pilot (just like being there)’
637 West 27th Street, Chelsea
Through June 20
Remember the space race? In the 1960s, going to the Moon and beyond was a galvanizing fantasy for millions of Americans and Russians. Now it seems a quaint artifact of a more innocent and gullible time.
In this vein, Eve Sussman and her collaborators, who go by the name Rufus Corporation, have constructed an evocative think piece: a meticulously detailed re-creation of the office of the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to go into space and to orbit Earth. After Gagarin’s death in 1968, the Soviets made his office a museum, which Ms. Sussman visited, photographed and simulated so faithfully that it looks as if the real thing — including chairs, a desk, telephones, memorabilia and fake daylight coming through sheer white curtains from a false window — had been teleported to Chelsea.
Besides being an impressive feat of realism, the installation, which looks more antique than modern to a contemporary eye, invites meditation on the aspirations and disappointments of technological progress. The title, “White on White,” refers to the proto-Minimalist, all-white painting by Kasimir Malevich, and, by extension, to the once seemingly unlimited and now apparently stymied possibilities of human evolution.
This is a surprising and intriguing turn for Ms. Sussman, who is known for her cinematic re-creation of “Las Meninas” by Velázquez and modern film version of the story “The Rape of the Sabine Women.” She plans to use the Gagarin office as a set for a futuristic film noir. That should be something to look forward to. KEN JOHNSON
UPDATE: Here is a video by Alexandra Lerman (mostly in Russian, but not all) in which Eve describes why this installation captured her imagination. (scroll to bottom of page)