Skip to content
"Four Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now" by Roberta Smith
Art installation of metal type and globe

Jonathan Berger’s installation “An Introduction to Nameless Love,” which is on view at Participant Inc.’s website.   Credit: Mark Waldhauser

Jonathan Berger

Through Oct. 11. Participant Inc.;

“An introduction to Nameless Love,” Jonathan Berger’s large, text-based installation at Participant Inc., is one of the sleeping beauties of the New York gallery lockdown. Luckily, it will reawaken Sept. 9 for a month.

I saw it during its initial opening five months ago, and was dazzled by its silvery texts, seeming to hang in midair and surrounded by darkness. They have stayed in my mind, aided by the wise and generous love-knows-no-bounds title; the crucial phrase is Allen Ginsberg’s, from a 1974 interview. The pieces make us privy to six unconventional relationships detailed in carefully culled words, and reiterated more abstractly in two tenderly handled complementary materials.

The show is an extensive collaboration, most of all between Mr. Berger and the people writing or talking about their own relationships or those they have witnessed. He knows most of them well, and participated in the creation of their texts, as did other friends, acting as facilitators or editors.

Made of one-inch letters punched out in a combination of tin and nickel, some of the texts are the size of walls; others aren’t much bigger than the tops of card tables; one is in the shape of a sphere. The words pull you in. “My aunt Rhoda died at the age of thirty-seven when I was fifteen years old,” begins a bit of memoir from Mady Schutzman’s book “Behold the Elusive Night Parrot.” She describes how inheriting and using her aunt’s clothing, jewelry and artworks led her to become a “living archive.”

Read full article at

metal text sculpture

Among the installation’s texts are this excerpt from Mady Schutzman’s “Behold the Elusive Night Parrot.” Credit: Carter Seddon

Back To Top