0103 Should Not Be Seen

Video Installation
Nikolai Phalen & Cristina Reid

Should not be Seen
is an immersive video installation exploring the dualistic and dissonant relationship between red and green, which are according to color theory, two of the most evocative and powerful colors in the color spectrum. The title, originating from a Victorian maxim “Red and Green should not be seen” is a makeshift thesis statement, we are borrowing what is evidently historical knowledge in order to reiterate the universality of its underlying principles.

Through video, sound, text, and light the artists investigate the universal draw to things that both revolt us and intrigue us. This investigation is meant to be both a meditation and a disturbance. As we surmise when red and green exist as the only two colors in a space, canvas, or otherwise, a liminal space is formed. A space in which balance and dissonance coexist. It is in this liminality that the essence of this dualistic relationship is born.

Two hues, equally brilliant,
unable to form a chromatic hierarchy
in constant perceptual motion.
Never resolving,
chromatic binary stars orbiting in a dimension unseen
or at the very least ought not to be.

Cristina Reid is a multidisciplinary artist originally from the US currently based in Barcelona. She has a bachelor's degree in Art History from Syracuse University where she co-curated various exhibitions at the university art galleries. During that time she spent a year in Florence, Italy where completed research for her senior thesis on renaissance art history as well as an archival internship at the Uffizi Galleries. She has a diploma in studio arts from Metàfora Studio Arts Program in Barcelona, where she defended her thesis at MACBA Centro de Estudis, and participated in group exhibitions at FOC, Mutuo Centro, and Galeria Joan Prats. Her video work has been screened during Loop Festival (Barcelona 2022) and at Sala Equis (Madrid 2023) She is currently pursuing an MFA in Artistic Production and Research at the University of Barcelona and has a studio residency at Tangent Projects. Discover more of Cristinas work here.

Nikolai Alexander Phalen is a multidisciplinary artist hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. Siberian born and Arizona raised—the extremes between these locales seem somehow evident in his work. Adopted by Americans as a young child he is interested in exploring themes of identity, individual diaspora, story-telling, the role of media in how we view the world, and the pervasive extrapolation of humanity by the machine of capitalism. His work is often focused on the violently transformational, and frequently studies mortality and its role in meaning making. Whether working with found-footage to create abstract self-portraits of an inner turmoil, writing genre-bending poetry that breaks convention, creating experimental electronic music about werewolf-escorts eating their clients, or painting abstract paintings using freshwater pearls, knives and fire—there is a unique bizarreness and intensity that he is attracted to and reciprocally is somehow attracted to him. Existing somewhere between the abstract, the confessional, and the conceptual—it is in this undefinable limboland that he finds he is most at home. Discover more of Nikolai’s work here.

Two hues, equally brilliant, unable to form a chromatic hierarchy, in constant perceptual motion. Never resolving, chromatic binary stars orbiting in a dimension unseen, or at the very least ought not to be.