Linder — Femme / Objet
Femme / Objet
Past: February 1 → April 21, 2013
The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presents the first retrospective exhibition of the work of British artist Linder. Comprised of some 200 works drawn from four decades of practice, this exhibition offers a comprehensive survey of the depth and diversity of Linder’s practice. Whilst focusing on her artistic output, this exhibition expands to embrace the breadth of Linder’s creative spirit and collaborative energy in the fields of art, fashion, music, and dance.
Linder’s career began in the northern English city of Manchester in the mid 1970s, amidst the culturally explosive moments of punk and post-punk. The creative energy of these movements forged the early spirit of Linder’s art making, which continues to manifest itself broadly in music, performance, publishing, and art making. One of Linder’s best known works is a collage of found images from pornographic and household magazines that featured as the cover for band Buzzcocks single Orgasm Addict, and is an image that has become something of an icon of the era whilst also representing the essence of so many of the concerns that have appeared in increasingly complex and sophisticated forms throughout her work since.
Linder’s position is one that embraces an uncompromising and unrelenting feminist approach to the critical revelation of culturally-entrenched notions of gender-specificity and of the pervasive sexual commodification of the female body. In her collages, as well as in her photographic works and performances, Linder sets about the creation of a collision between distinct socially coded and culturally reinforced notions of gendered identities and behaviours. Linder has worked in the medium of collage from the beginning of her career, using print magazines as a fertile resource with which to provide and communicate the content of much of her work, for it is in magazines that a mainstream social narrative manifests itself in some of its most revealing forms. For Linder, pornographic, household and cookery magazines, and mens’ and womens’ interests are subjects analogous to one another. Each represents a monstrous creation of insatiable desire and a commercially motivated reinforcement of constructed identities and expectations of behaviour. Common to all is an attention to seductive images that even to this day continue to perpetuate a particular representation of women that Linder’s work calls as unpalatable.
Linder herself is at the centre of many of her works, whether as the subject of self- portraits in photographic works that play with notions of personal invention and the performance of identity, or in musical and choreographed performances for stage and gallery environments. Linder founded the post-punk music group Ludus, performing infamously through the early 1980s at venues such as the Haçienda nightclub, and since then has made performances in galleries and museums that test many durational and participatory conventions. Upon the opening of this exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Linder will premiere her new ballet The Ultimate Form, which features costumes by Pam Hogg, music by Stuart McCullum of the Cinematic Orchestra, and dancers of the Northern Ballet.
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