Skip to content

Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present ‘Drowning,’ a sound installation by Connie Walsh that explores the relationship between individual perception and the outside world. Using surround-sound and the construction of an unstable physical environment, the artist invites the viewer into a deceptively disorienting atmosphere at the intersection of expectation and interpretation.
In a fragmented narrative, we follow a woman, Joan, to a health club and observe the progression of events as an outsider while also being privy to her inner monologue. In an underground pool, she is told the heating is broken but starts her laps anyway. The lights go off and her panic mounts as shadowy figures surround the pool. Intentions are misinterpreted and communication misread as she slips further under the water. Quotations taken from Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s ‘The Primacy of Perception’ are heard as ultimately, she is submerged, overwhelmed by her surroundings, and seduced by the desire to surrender. The loosely laid ceramic tiles covering the gallery floor compound the disorienting sensations – deceptive and jarring in their simultaneous instability and banality. The sensory journey continues until Joan is suddenly plucked from the depths by one of the unknown figures, jolting her back to a qualitatively different reality.
Connie Walsh received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and was a resident at Skowhegan in 1996. She employs video, sound, sculpture and architecture to explore the strategies we use to negotiate between the self and other, addressing the shifting distinctions, disconnections, and subtle overlaps between the private and public. Walsh lives and works in Los Angeles.
Additional Credits:
Sue Cremin - Voice
Nathan Ruyle - Sound engineer
Chris Young - Original screenplay from which the story was adapted
Marianne Boesky Gallery is located at 509 West 24th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. For further information or images, please contact the gallery at 212-680-9889 or