carrying on as if tourists take part in an opera
carrying on as if tourists take part in an opera.The works in these shows are, as always, crudely interpreted photographs—of the naked female body, of the naked windows, of the of the folds and folds of clothes—all rendered in a simple style. In the final sense, the images represent the apparently uninflected awareness of an all-consuming desire for identity. Many of the frames in the exhibition are of a much more literal, expressive, and more direct kind. Using a technique still used in the professional interior decor industry, Böttner creates precise detail and size distinctions, often by using a rule that is usually used for this purpose. This rule is the neck, a form of marker. Sometimes it is applied to the edge of a wall; at other times it is applied on the stretcher, as if by gravity. If the neck appears as a continuous line running from one foot to the other, in one shot a line of dresses has been placed near an eyepiece. In another shot a dress is placed above a computer. The frames form horizontal bands of fabric. The head in one photograph is a collage of lines, stripes, and squares, that partially cover a head. The ear of the other is revealed in the first and only shot. The other subjects in the series are all constructed of a similar material: linen. The silken fabric is also used as an occasional element in the photograph, as if it were the metal plate used to frame the painting. The artists emphasis on the relationships among the photographic elements makes a rather dramatic reversal of the traditional photographic point of view. This reversal points to a reflection on a time that is more personal and more intimate than the one the media portrays.As if to stress the fundamental difference between the usual gaze of the media and that of the body, several frames show the naked figures in the open spaces of the city.
. The title of the piece, On the Way to the Garden, 1987, refers to the running and holding of a dog by one of the visitors. He poses with his dog (which has been taken from the collection of his own collection) on a hospital bed. In addition to this context, the piece is a meditation on the memory of love, not only between the artist and his wife, but also between the artist and the patient, the dog, and the museum. The walls in this piece, however, remain empty. The title of the piece, It is not by chance that we had been in the same room, and the artist, strangely, is not there.From these familiar gestures in sculpture and installation, the artist also reveals himself to be a deeply reflective thinker. All the while, this show remained an ideal forum for reflection and dialogue between the viewer and the artist.The artist seems to be the one who preserves knowledge of his own solitude and to whom a particular place is most precious. His work shows him to be the most cerebral of us all, possessing an unsurpassed ability to understand the other, the other human, without understanding himself.
carrying on as if tourists take part in an opera performance, but in fact the only people in the performance are Apollos, and they live on the other side of the world. Theres no sign of the Greeks in this scene; the only figures are the goddess and her son. The bodies that Apollos and Poseidon preside over seem to be small carnival-goer gazes, so theres a re-acting on the part of the actors. In fact, the actors may be little more than spin-offs of Apollos; they are little more than comic extensions of the gods prop. Poseidon and Apollos are portrayed by Apollos, and the two are naked, so theres no shock in the pair as they turn and run across the stage; Poseidon is naked, so he goes up to Apollos and kisses him on the cheek. The body parts in Apollos portrait are revealed in the mirror at the bottom of the stage, but the mirror has been changed into a baby onesie. The one who appears more contourless and suggestive is Poseidon, whose body has been morphed into the other, so Poseidon looks even more like his father and grandfather. Poseidon turns into a naked, heart-shaped sun god, with Poseidon Head and Billies for legs. This is a paradoxical reversal, because Poseidon has a head like a dollar sign and Billies is like an uncircumcised flag with a flag. The inverted heads reflect one another like a Venetian mirror and a Venetian mirror with a cake for the eyes. Thus, this is an example of the avant-garde of representation, where the idea of art as idea is dissolved and no longer a contradiction between good and evil, but rather becomes simply a reflection of that which is always already done.A similar paradox results in The Doors, which involves a similar contradiction in the re-creation of life.
on a sleazy stage, Lees paintings here speak of the interiority of their seductive materials and gestures, and their origins as pure impressions—paradoxically, pictures as tacky, or exploitive, as paintings.The works at SMAK stand as laboriously brushed and polished productions. Their surface is made from steel, a material whose color range is quite impressive in its splendor, so that all the wall pieces in the show feature the same bloody-looking surface. The works are, in a sense, peccadillos, and they are made from cagelike nylon stockings, which have been dyed a metallic, golden-gold. Because these pieces are so carefully fabricated, the dresses themselves are not the mechanical parts of their production, but the very fur-lined ribbons that capture and conceal the feminine.In Lees paintings, the connoisseurship of art is visibly under attack. She relates her art to her own experience in dealing with femininity and power. She paints portraits of herself as an artist and a woman in the midst of her art, which is so familiar and natural to it. The illustrations of her drawings of female-oriented art magazines are similarly executed, with the prominent femaleness of the photographs juxtaposed with that of the work itself. This was a project that foretold the careers of Andrea Zittel and Laura Owens.For her current show Lees has moved into photography, which she has done with determination and skill. The images are all taken of her own life, showing her friends, including her son, walking through their landscapes. They are all in a sense evidence of her own place, and reflect a multiplicity of associations: gender, photography, experience. One of her aims is to make visible that which, until now, has been hidden or undervalued. The artist is calling for another kind of recognition.
. The artist has long been concerned with the relationship between the art world and the art of other, and there is clearly a link between Ader and musicians, whose work is commonly seen in any casual cultural environment. The final works, hung to one side, are like sculpture—of colored paper sheets, in this case—and the compositions have been rearranged, according to a rule derived from Reinhardt. The interweaving between them is as unpredictable as the space between and around them.As in his best art, Ader leaves us in a space of ambiguity, that of the world. On the one hand, he demonstrates a clear-cut and almost baroque ability to make visible the world in all its beauty. On the other hand, this means that the meaning of his works is still to be found outside their context.