Art Basel Unlimited 2021
September 24 – 26, 2021
Trisha Baga’s immersive installation BODY CLOCK features their largest painting to date, as lit by a complex light projection that layers a stream of visual interfaces and lighting motifs moving over the canvas. In the painting, the Korean boyband BTS performs a signature element of their choreography, the formation of a DNA double helix. BTS’ elaborate dance routines are marked by rapid points of connection and rupture. Touch forms a bond that dissipates just as quickly as clusters of bodies repeatedly come together and break apart like an infinite loop. Detached from its original context, the group’s fleeting embrace takes on a more tender, subtle tone. The figures seem to take shelter in one another, literally protecting and shielding each other with their bodies. The luminous glow of alternating clips of Epson start up screens, screensavers, scrolling files, and white light cast a lustrous, ever-shifting halo around the band, imbuing them with a peculiar, mediated radiance that borders on historical and religious painting. Navigating the installation, the viewer’s own body becomes part of this tableaux. The human body and its representational fragments are an ongoing concern in Baga’s work, which they use as a cipher to explore ideas about identity, globalization, solidarity, and community. Yet, as is typical of Baga’s approach, their interrogation extends beyond the bounds of the human body to incorporate its relationship with media and technology. Baga described themself as a “CMYK printer” when creating BODY CLOCK and an interplay between the analogue and the digital, the brushstroke and the pixel, the flesh and the image pervades the installation—all illuminated by layers of projections whose flashing lights evince a persistent searching: tuning in, scanning, streaming, seeking connection.