Various Records: Anna Plesset

15 February - 22 March 2019
Installation Views
Press release

Spreading over both floors of the gallery, Various Records utilises video, painting and drawing to explore the physical and psychological relationships between war, suffering and everyday life.


On the first floor of the gallery, Plesset presents Document of a Travelogue by Lt. Col. Marvin R. Plesset, Division Neuropsychiatrist (2013), a repositioning of a film her grandfather made while traveling through post-D-Day Europe while serving as a psychiatrist for the US Army. Trading his pistol for a camera, Plesset’s grandfather recorded monuments and ruins, landscapes and labour camps, standing as both objective observer and emotive guide. In Plesset’s video, her grandfather’s unaltered film is re-filmed as a projection onto her studio wall, adding another layer of translation and time.


Using the film as her guide, Plesset retraced her grandfather’s footsteps across Europe, piecing together the chronology of his journey and the subjects of his interest in what became a project of research and discovery. The pieces of ephemera she gathered over that time–ticket stubs, scraps from books, photographs and sketches–have become the subjects of paintings and drawings. These records of records draw attention to sub-narratives within the project as a whole, avenues of memory to be explored. They both reinforce memory and obscure it, altering it each time it is recorded anew.


In each of these paintings and drawings is the presence of the artist–her handwriting, the nicks and smudges of paint and graphite–that alludes not only to the act of image-making, but also to the process of editing and to the absence of other images that may have once been there. We experience the intimacy of following Plesset’s eye, just as we witnessed her following that of her grandfather’s via projection on her studio wall.

‘…why do we keep these records? Maybe the faith that holding onto the memory of how you learned something means really grasping the fact that stories are all constructs.’ - Orit Gat


Anna Plesset lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited widely in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Most recently, her work was featured in New York City at venues including Jack Barrett, 315 Gallery, Yossi Milo Gallery, Marlborough, UNTITLED, the Horticultural Society of New York, and the Abrons Arts Center, as well as Galerie Clemens Gunzer in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2016, Plesset was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant. Additional awards and residencies include the Terra Foundation for American Art Summer Residency Fellowship in Giverny, France and the AIRspace residency program at Abrons Arts Center in New York City. Plesset’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, frieze, Hyperallergic, Bomb Magazine, Modern Painters, Time Out, and the Brooklyn Rail.