Berlin-Paris — Un échange de galeries
Un échange de galeries
Past: January 28 → February 26, 2011
Kent Monkman is part of a new generation of Native American artists. His broad practice, which ranges from figurative painting to film and performance, explores the complexities of the flawed, yet enduring myth of the American West. Taking on the artistic traditions of Western nineteenth century painting, Monkman’s appropriations of ‘New World’ painting are meticulous recreations of large-scale, sublime landscapes. Monkman’s ‘trickery’ only becomes clear on closer inspection: these grand panoramas, painted in acrylic not oil, are populated with cavorting ‘cowboys and indians’. Toying with the notion of authenticity, these reimagined, often homoeroticised tableaux playfully subvert and distort traditional narratives and perceptions.
By appropriating the imagery and technique of ‘New World’ landscape painters, and by subverting the usual roles of cowboys and Indians, Monkman presents a critique not only of history, but also of notions of authenticity and of visual culture as a nation-building exercise. He goes back in time to ‘queer the frontier’ and in doing so presents a humorous and alternative view to the narratives in history books and museums. As both target and figurehead for an aesthetic language of oppression, Monkman’s playful ‘cover’ versions of early colonial landscapes are designed to open up the past for re-examination. He participates in contemporary myth-making, presenting history as a fluid an subjective interplay between fact and fiction and, in the process, recuperates aboriginal power and customs. Kent Monkman’s work will be exhibited at la Maison Rouge, Paris, in Spring 2011.
Imagination, appearance and reality, or the simulation and theatrical transformation there of; conceptions located at the cross-over of artistic value and mundanity; the dressing up of banality; and constructions within the domain of fictionality — all of these are coordinates and parameters in the art of Gerd Rohling. Over the years, Rohling has developed such a diversity of facets in his work — an oeuvre spanning nearly three decades — that a multitude of interrelationships, links and thematic references have evolved both within his various groups of works and in relation to Rohling’s artistic practice and use of materials. Underlying the detail and epic long-windedness of Rohling’s conceptualisation process is his practice of working both “on journeys and in situ”. His sharpened gaze for what is typical of a site or place, or perhaps missing from it, coupled with his refusal to simply let things be and his desire to understand things situatively, makes it appropriate for him to work with material on site, to further develop his works at another place, extending their conceptual horizon, before perhaps returning them to their place of origin, where they actually belong. Gerd Rohling’s works are at once real, mystical and concrete; questions arise within them. Rohling simultaneously confronts aspects of originality and imitation, themes of staging and (dis)illusionment, questions of illusion and being, of the worth and worthlessness of a given material with the question of the significance of an artistic intervention whereby an artwork produced from rubbish acquires intellectual value.