TAKERS, 2022

Looping film. 3m 3s.

"It is impossible not to be drawn into the fight that perpetually unfolds on the projection wall at the centre of the darkened gallery. The grunts and smacks of two men engaging in an unrelenting, no-holds-barred fistfight resonate throughout the very room they were recorded in. Onscreen, fists and limbs puncture drywall. The holes, still visible behind the screen, swiftly cast the gallery as both a film set and an art space. ‘Hound Dog’ (1952), a song about a deadbeat lover originally recorded by American R&B singer and songwriter Big Mama Thornton, provides something of a cinematic score, though her voice is mostly drowned out by the coincidental violence. The title of the exhibition ‘Takers’ references both snatching opportunists and recording artists who capture a perfect take by re-recording the imperfect ones. In either sense, the act of taking results in a void or an erasure. With this cinematic presentation and its musical accompaniment American visual artist, Nikita Gale uses language to suggest an allegorical read, which spins into a vertiginous view of history that feels both objective and abject." -Reuben Merringer, thisistomorrow

Installation views from LAXART, Los Angeles, CA, 2022. Photos: Reuben Diaz.


Written and Directed by Nikita Gale
Producer: Mariko Munro
Director of Photography: Milena Pastreich
Editor: Andrew Norman Wilson
Fight Choreographer: Toy Lei
Performers: Duffy McManus & Scott Rosen
Audio Post: Josh Copp for Mister Sunshine
Sound Mixer: Luiza Sa-Davis
First Assistant Camera: Samuel Emerson Morgan
Gaffer: Justin Moore
Camera Assistant: Beatriz Cadenas Leon
Stunt Utility: Phillip M. Lawrence
Production Assistant: Paul Whang
Colorist: Kaitlyn Battistelli for Ethos Studio
Producer: Sam Cesan
Title Design: Clocksssss

Music credits:
“Hound Dog” written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Performed by Big Mama Thornton
Using Format