Casino Ilinx, 2008
SculptureCenter LIC, NY
Curated by Sarina Basta
The entire lower galleries of the ScultureCenter were transformed into a multi-room casino.
From the press release:
Drawing on gambling's roots in ritual and divination, Portnoy’s tables are constructed of high and low materials including wood, mirror, sand, felt, bone, brass, vinyl, and shell. Influenced by gaming devices from various cultures and times, Portnoy’s objects take on a life of their own. When activated by games, the stylized sculptural pieces trigger experimental and experiential situations for the study of human behavior. "Rules" are imparted through riddles and gestures interpreted by players of each game. The rules and language associated with each piece shift constantly, challenging the viewer’s interaction with individual objects leading to dysfunctional, intimate, and absurd situations.
As a whole, Casino Ilinx is composed of a series of moments, surprises, dead ends, and trap doors. The viewer must negotiate sporadic performers, sculptures such as a rabid cube, a squirrel escort, and other opaque symbols and rules. Casino Ilinx will be activated by scheduled and intermittent performances and gaming sessions throughout the exhibition. During exhibition opening visitors will be greeted by two “bouncers” and ushered into the gambling room. A croupier will lead each of Portnoy’s three abstract tables, instructing, coaxing, and hustling viewers into action.