Complex Systems

3 Feb 2018 – 11 Mar 2018

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

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New York
New York, United States

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GRIMM is pleased to announce the presentation of Complex Systems by Desiree Dolron (NL, 1963) at our New York gallery space. This exhibition marks the first solo presentation of a video work by the artist in the Unites States.


 Desiree Dolron’s work takes us on a journey into a stilled and mysterious world. Profound investigation combined with careful observation preludes the making of both her photographs and films. Employing a minutely tuned artistic process, the resulting work combines serenity with insinuatingly composed images.

With her recent films and videos, Dolron adds a new dimension to her practice. Complex Systems situates itself in the broader context of Dolron’s ongoing film and video work, such as Uncertain TX (2016) and I will show you fear in a handful of dust (2017). Consistent with themes in her past photographic series these new works share ‘transcendence’ as a common thread. 

Complex Systems displays a digitally drawn flock of starlings, scattering throughout the sky in a loop of ever-changing patterns. Themes such as the fragility of being, temporality and the dichotomy between the individual and the collective form the conceptual ground of inquiry. The title of the film is adopted from the scientific field of network research, which employs the term to define the complex interactions between different components of the same group. 

The shapes assumed by the birds are proven to be the result of a defense mechanism system: in order to avoid attack by predators, a singular starling keeps track of seven others simultaneously - in doing so, the starling is able to adapt to the changing flying directions of the entire flock, thus keeping the collective intact. The dichotomy between the individual and the collective is at the core of Dolron’s interest in this natural phenomenon: Complex Systems investigates the relation between singular and collective intelligence, prompting questions concerning humanity, the psyche and the possible presence of a collective unconscious.

The link to the human Psyche is emphasized by the cyclic nature of the film; Dolron underlines here the temporality of a starling’s life, whose movements change from an initial drive to a final, slow fall. This movement happens in an eternal loop that reminds us of the human lifecycle and its fragility. The movements of the starlings, combined with the pivotal soundtrack of murmuring voices that intensify and fade according to the flock’s movements, alliterates to the human mind in a state of constant flux.

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