Alexandre Singh’s first major exhibition at Metro Pictures features the New York premiere of his short film The Appointment (2019, 19 min). Singh transforms the gallery into an abandoned cinema from an imagined dystopic future. With trompe l’oeil wallpaper and flooring that is painstakingly hand-drawn, the exhibition includes sculpture and paintings that refer to the macabre vernacular of the film. The works further Singh’s ideas around narrative and storytelling, which he first began exploring in 2007 with his Faustian novella The Marque of the Third Stripe.
A darkly comic thriller, the film is a tale of doubling and mistaken identity that embraces the fantastical and supernatural qualities of Gothic literature, from E. T. A. Hoffmann to Roald Dahl. The protagonist is Henry Salt, an enfant terrible of letters who we meet as he wakes from a nightmare and discovers a confounding entry in his diary: “12 o’clock at the restaurant La Folie.” But who is Henry meeting? And why doesn’t he remember making this appointment? When no one appears at the scheduled time, Henry becomes obsessed with trying to uncover this person’s identity. Charging through a series of dreamlike encounters, he discovers that the truth is more disturbing than he could have imagined.
A Gentle Horror
October 11 – November 9, 2019
Metro Pictures 519 West 24th Street New York, NY 10011
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