Gary Hill

American (Santa Monica, California, 1951)

Incidence of Catastrophe

video installation | single-channel video, color, with sound, 43:51 min.
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Incidence of Catastrophe

    Gary Hill, Incidence of Catastrophe, 1987-1988; single-channel video, color, with sound, 43:51 min., Collection SFMOMA, Camille W. and William S. Broadbent Fund purchase; © Gary Hill

Inspired by Maurice Blanchot's existentialist novel Thomas the Obscure (1941), Hill portrays the act of reading and the comprehension of language as processes of erosion rather than accumulation. Hill is both author and reader; his exploration of the dialectical relationship between picture and word echoes Blanchot's belief that literary compositions are organic entities separate from the external world, and that the solipsistic nature of humanity makes real communication almost impossible.

Acquired 1989
Collection SFMOMA
Camille W. and William S. Broadbent Fund purchase
© Gary Hill


language, reading, text, comprehension

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