Forever and Forever
Tommy Malekoff

April 22 - May 27, 2022

New Canons   
630 5th avenue, Ny NY

Selected Press:
New York Times

New Canons presents Forever and Forever, a new site-specific video installation by artist Tommy Malekoff. The multi-channel work features footage the artist shot in the Everglades region of Southern Florida over the past two years. Focusing on an inhospitable terrain teeming with development, agriculture and tourism, Forever and Forever sidesteps the familiar, moralizing narrative of ecological decay, illuminating instead a more nuanced dynamic between man and nature. While at times ominous and visually foreboding, the work underscores this fraught duality in a frenetic and fragile exchange, capable of extreme beauty and decimation.

With primordial scenes interrupted by occasional markers of modernity, Forever and Forever presents the natural world as it resists and coexists with human intervention. Titans of Florida’s overgrowth—alligators, manatees and banyan trees— adapt time-tested survival strategies, with varying success. In one video, a coal-fired power plant warms and pollutes the surrounding waters with its chemical runoff, protecting manatees during cold months, but also endangering them. As the threatened mammals gather in the temperate waters around the plant, tourists flock to the area, marveling at their unnatural congregation.

Raging fires set as part of sugar cane harvest transfix as they terrify, highlighting a beauty in transformation, even when it involves destruction. Birds and ash rise together in an apocalyptic whirlwind above flaming fields. Motorists witness the sweeping inferno from hundreds of miles away, and visitors regularly tour the burning area in awe of the elemental symbol of purification and rebirth.

Tourism is an incongruent context for all the videos. Although the locations appear remote and wild, they were shot close by and within popular commercialized attractions. Just out of view, humans do not appear in the footage; however their influence is palpable as instigators and witnesses of environmental spectacle. Their absence implies separation rather than integration; nature’s recurrent recreation in dialectic with mankind’s progress.

Quietly hiding the artist’s poetic meditation on nature within the underworld of Rockefeller Center puts the work in dialogue with the surrounding touristic and commercial bustle and the enduring Atlas, bent under his burden just outside the entrance. Locating the space, formerly an obscure storage area, requires a map and pilgrimage. Visitors navigate an opulent Art Deco lobby to encounter a raw, underground chamber, a descent reminiscent of ancient rites of passage.

Mounted like an impenetrable stockade, and set to an ominous and hypnotic score, six monolithic videos play on an infinite loop. On their own circuit, viewers orbit the installation, moving from screen to screen. The illuminated, cavernous environment invites contemplation of epic landscapes transforming convulsively like alien and prehistoric evolutions. Dislocated from their contemporary urban context, these scenes create a different temporality, an eternity that lives and dies, an eternity that repeats itself.


Original score by Joe Williams and Tommy Malekoff

Special thanks to Marco Barrera, Abhi Chatterjee, Jack Donoghue, Parker Hao, Michael Mavretic, Adriana Ramirez, Cody Ranaldo, Zach Sky, and Fabian Tomas.

Tommy Malekoff, born 1992, is a visual artist from North Carolina, based in New York City. He has had solo exhibitions at Galleria ZERO Milan, Italy 2021, Moran Moran Los Angeles 2020, Jeffrey Stark, New York 2017. Forever and Forever will be followed by an upcoming solo exhibition at Galerie Art: Concept, in Paris in May.

Open to the public: 12pm - 10pm daily — April 22 - May 27 — 630 5th ave, concourse level — New York, NY 10111