Archive for February, 2011

Tanz und Text

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

picture-42

Just premiered in Zurich at Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, with more shows upcoming in Frankfurt and Geneva. More info and dates here

Year’s Best, A Month Late

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

picture-31

From Artforum.com‘s Best of 2010 Critics’ Picks:

Rosemarie Trockel, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Carol Rama and Leonor Antunes

If the exhibitions that lingered long and low in my consciousness this year had a sound track, it just might be Nina Simone’s 1966 expert generational delineation “Four Women.” So, to begin: Rosemarie Trockel’s small, dazzling survey at Kunsthalle Zurich comes first, last, and always. As I wrote for this website, “Deliquescence of the Mother” was a dream (or nightmare) of domesticity and its oft-gendered (dis)appointments. It deftly showcased her magisterial “knitted pictures,” collages, and, most triumphantly, her recent pale and lucid ceramic sofas, which demonstrated that her work remains as astonishingly seminal as ever.

By contrast, Lili Reynaud Dewar’s show at Kunsthalle Basel was distilled in the extreme, though no less affecting. At its center was a huge, geometric wood-and-mirror structure—part modernist spaceship, part Suprematist monument—with an interior wall showing a video projection of the artist’s mother seated on an African-patterned throne, theatrically relating the story of a 1970 Sun Ra concert she had attended, then slowly dancing to the freaky, frenetic sounds of the master himself. The séancelike work—evoking the speculative fervor of spirits Sun Ra, Ettore Sottsass, and Dewar’s mother’s own youth—haunted me for weeks.

The third show was still more trim—not even a proper exhibition at all. No matter: Carol Rama and Leonor Antunes’s beautiful, sinister installation—an erotic chamber drama in a palette of black, gold, and tan—in Isabella Bortolozzi’s booth at Art Basel was more considered than most museum retrospectives. Antunes’s black rope and brass sculptures glittered against the nonagenarian Rama’s black leather and inner-tube works, while a geometric floor (black squares, gold lineation) mirrored both. It occurs to me now that all three shows occurred in a particularly feverish Swiss spring—April to June—the season of (art) awakenings, and birth and rebirth, of course.

—Quinn Latimer