One Hundred Years from Now, 2013
24 x 27 inches
Courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi
EVE PLAYS DUCHAMP
Curated by Kevin Moore
4 October - 10 November 2013
Brancolini Grimaldi announces Eve Plays Duchamp, a group exhibition of three American artists - Tricia Lawless Murray, Heidi Snow and Hannah Whitaker - each working in a vein of feminist-inflected neo-Surrealism. The show is curated by Kevin Moore, an independent scholar and curator based in New York.
Establishing an historical basis for the exhibition, Kevin Moore writes:
"In 1963 the Pasadena Museum of Art hosted the first American retrospective of Marcel Duchamp. A stunt coinciding with the exhibition involved a young woman named Eve Babitz, who sat naked in the gallery for a chess match with the 76-year old Duchamp in front of one his most iconic works, Large Glass (1915 - 1925). If the goal of chess is "to mate," the tableau vivant of Eve Babitz and Duchamp effectively activated the Large Glass, "performing" that work's themes of coupling and sublimated desire, nuanced in the work's full title, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even."
"While historical Surrealism has been criticized for its sexist treatment of women, the presence of Eve Babitz, sitting comfortably naked opposite one of the great masters of 20th-century art, challenges Surrealist ideas of patriarchal dominance. By 1963, many of the traditional social hierarchies referenced by historical Surrealism were being challenged and eroded. This was true for art-making as well, and in that sense Eve Babitz might be seen as representing feministbased art practices to come - a woman playing to traditional roles yet turning the tables by embracing the themes and strategies of an older generation of male artists to rebellious and provocative effect. Eve is stripped bare, but on her own terms, so we might call the match now even."
Tricia Lawless Murray is an LA-based artist working in photography, video, collage, sculpture and installation. Eve Plays Duchamp will feature work from Lawless Murray's recent series which reinterprets Marcel Duchamp's last work Étant Donnés in which the viewer peers through peepholes in a wooden door. The difference here is that Lawless Murray allows viewers to breach the barrier that existed in Duchamp's construction and enter the space of the diorama via her videos, collages and three-dimensional works. The works take their titles from songs rooted in American folk, blues, country and pop music as they relate to the seminal alternative country rock album, The Sweetheart of the Rodeo by The Byrds. These works represent the transition from the investigation of Duchamp's work to that of Western Americana as Lawless Murray begins to make visual her rendition of the "Great American Novel". Her agenda is to refashion works from the past to lend them a point of view that is contrarily ironic and romantic while maintaining the perspective of woman as visual provocateur as opposed to object of delectation.
New York-based artist Heidi Snow explores obscure histories, deciphering in relics such as fanciful costumes and various forms of documentation, lost chapters in the history of fashion. Through sculptures, photographs and drawings, her work examines the ways in which women's fashion in particular has contributed to the exaggeration, distortion, and fetishisation of the female body according to the cultural fantasies and perversions of a given historical moment.
Also based in New York, Hannah Whitaker's photographs are the results of unwieldy experimental systems allowed to unfold. They start with organising principles ranging from visual patterning to repetitive motions, to mathematics. They present a kind of overt rationale represented visually by a grid or geometric pattern – which is then undermined by mistakes, randomness, imperfection and messiness. Recently Whitaker has made use of hand-made screens and other experimental in-camera techniques in order to layer different visual languages within a single image, placing the geometric alongside the photographic. The images depict a range of subjects, often with loaded histories – such as an ancient Greek marble quarry or a Hawaiian volcano – so that each image has a dual function as both twodimensional image and gatekeeper of a larger narrative.
Kevin Moore is the author of Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 (Cincinnati Art Museum/Hatje Cantz, 2010) and Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of an Artist (Princeton University Press, 2004), and a contributing author to Robert Heinecken (Ridinghouse, 2012) and Words Without Pictures (LACMA/Aperture, 2009).
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