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Paul Pfeiffer
Pirate Jenny
Gagosian Gallery
555 West 24th Street, New York, NY
November 6–December 18, 2004

Paul Pfeiffer
Pirate Jenny
The Project
37 West 57th Street, New York, NY
November 5–December 18, 2004

Paul Pfeiffer critiques mass media and pop culture with a droll wit and existential despair, while giving a nod to the pioneers of film and video art. The centerpiece of his two-gallery show is Empire, a three-month-long, real-time video of a wasp colony; unlike in Warhol’s eight-hour film of the same name, Pfeiffer’s subjects are actually doing something—albeit very, very slowly. In Desiderata, he manipulates TV footage from The Price is Right to place unwitting contestants in a surreal world of blinking lights, colorful props, and absolute isolation. Known for exploring the heroic status of sports stars, Pfeiffer also digitally alters photographs to depict lone basketball players as transcendent icons and, at the Project, portrays soccer players in a state of religious ecstasy.

Originally published in Flavorpill 233 on November 23, 2004.