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“Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer” at Kunstmuseum Basel

“Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer” at Kunstmuseum Basel

“Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer” at Kunstmuseum Basel

On this exhibition, Louise Bourgeois’s work is introduced by way of Jenny Holzer’s curatorial imaginative and prescient—with an help from Kunstmuseum Basel’s Anita Haldeman—thus drawing parallels between the 2 artists’ use of the written phrase as an artwork type unto itself. Throughout a press convention, Holzer recalled being marked by Bourgeois’s sculpture Femme Maison, 1982, and assembly the formidable Frenchwoman in particular person within the Nineteen Eighties (“she was not taking part in”). The exhibition’s subtitle—“The Violence of Handwriting Throughout a Web page”—accentuates the forceful cost of self-expression, even when masquerading behind wry humor. Opposite to Holzer—lengthy synonymous with all-caps slogans that telescope societal failings—Bourgeois obsessively mined her inside, confronting want, fury, and trauma although stream-of-consciousness reflections scrawled onto loose-leaf paper and journals, in tandem with psychoanalysis. Her writings took on stark new immediacy when she extracted sure phrases, giving them pleasure of place on pale mail sacks (“I neeD my mEmoRies. THEY ARe my DOCUMENTS”), marble (“THE HOUR IS DEVOTED TO REVENGE”) or lined music paper (“I’m on the opposite facet of despair/and this occurs to me 4 occasions a day”). There’s a clear overlap, nonetheless, between Holzer and Bourgeois’s dealing with of textual content: Every deployed it, tactically, to channel seething discontent, albeit towards completely different targets.

Past the 9 galleries devoted to Bourgeois’ work, one can hear a recording of the artist singing “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” within the elevator, whereas the passageway linking the museum’s two separate buildings options the rarely-seen and fairly unnerving Twosome, 1991, a hefty mechanical tank automobile, incandescent with lurid crimson gentle, heaving back-and-forth on a observe. As an add-on, Holzer developed an augmented-reality app, remodeling Bourgeois’s 1974 set up Destruction of the Father right into a digital “expertise,” which frankly looks as if one thing Bourgeois would have loathed. Extra fittingly, Holzer positioned just a few alternative Bourgeois works inside the Swiss museum’s everlasting assortment. A duplicate of the phallic drawing Fillette, 1998, hung subsequent to a codpiece-centric sixteenth-century portrait by Tobias Stimmer, is very memorable. 

See Also
May 2022 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists

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