Two Figures in a Field – Vinyl
7.25 x 7.25 in. (18.415 x 18.415 cm)
45” vinyl record
Courtesy of the artist
Edition of 300; 5 APs
The vinyl record, Two Figures in a Field, is a limited edition pressing, conceived and produced by the artist Tom Pnini, and serves as an entrypoint to Pnini’s immersive installation project of the same name. The project presents stories of sea voyages, and in particular, travels across the English Channel, including a famous attempt to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the Channel, conceived as an art project in 1975 by Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, who disappeared at sea; and a news story from 2015 about Syrian refugees who desperately tried to swim across the Channel for survival. Juxtaposed, is the story of a catastrophic fire in 1876 in the Brooklyn Theater, a historic theater located in Brooklyn, New York. Pnini recounts these significant moments of disappearance, loss, and tragedy in a multi-layered and experiential way, using illusions and music to imagine the past.
In the vinyl edition, collaborator Hannah Lee Thompson performs two songs, dated from the 1800’s, that expand on the project’s themes. On one side of the vinyl, a sea shanty, Haul Away Joe, tells the lifelong adventure of a sea traveler. On the other side of the vinyl, The Two Orphans Waltz, tells the story of the Brooklyn Theater fire. With an A side and B side track, listeners must flip the record to hear each song, proposing that there is a dichotomy between the two story lines at the core of this project. Two Figures in a Field was presented in Tom Pnini’s solo exhibition at Lesley Heller Gallery in New York, on view from January 10–February 22, 2021.
Tom Pnini (b. 1981, Israel) creates time-based works and large-scale installations. He has exhibited in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Toronto, Moscow, and Israel, including a solo show at Lesley Heller Workspace, in the Lower East Side, NY (2020 & 2017); a solo show at Chelouche Gallery in Tel Aviv (2015 & 2012); and a solo show at Giuseppe Pero Gallery in Milan, Italy (2015). He holds a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) from Hamidrasha College (2008) and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Parsons School of Design at the New School (2010). He has received a CCA Video Art Fund award (2012), a Dean’s Graduate Scholarship from Parsons (2009-10), and an Outstanding Artistic Excellence Award from Beit Berl College (2008). His works have been acquired into numerous collections. He lives and works in New York City, and works with Chelouche Gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel.
To learn more about Tom Pnini’s practice, listen to this recorded interview with the artist, conducted in the spring of 2020 and produced by Artis.