Artist: Charlotte Posenenske
Venue: Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Exhibition Title: Pergola: Retrospective
Date: February 19 – May 16, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Photos by André Morin.
1916: Le Corbusier builds a « Villa Turque » (Turkish Villa), the Villa Schwob, flanked by a pergola, in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). Some years later, he publishes photos of it in L’Esprit Nouveau. On the ground, in front of the villa, a white smear betrays retouching: the pergola has disappeared. Less than a century later, the Iraqi journalist Muntazer Al-Zaïdi throws his shoes at George W. Bush’s head.
Poltergeists are on the agenda at PERGOLA. Against the background of a haunted modernity, silhouettes of erased lives demand restitution: Swiss tavern lanterns cast a gloom over the museum space, the ventilation shafts bring back good memories of monumental architecture, the melancholy of the Renaissance seeps into this no man’s land, pneumatic dispatch breaches communication…. In the public spaces, the forsaken demand equal treatment in the art works by Charlotte Posenenske. This is the opportunity to discover for the first time the works of this important German artist, alongside the art objects of Valentin Carron, Raphael Zarka, Serge Spitzer, and the large shoe of the Iraqi Laith Al-Amiri.
Charlotte Posenenske’s works draw on a wide range of modern heritage. From Cézanne, she inherits her interest in landscapes and, from the Dutch and Soviet avant-garde constructivists, she gets her concept of spatial composition and her the notions of standardization. Abandoning the pictorial representation of space for sculpture, Charlotte Posenenske raises the question of experience, first from the subjective point of view and then from an anonymous point of view. In 1968, disappointed by the material limitations of art to resolve urgent societal issues, she ends her artistic career and pursues her endeavours in sociology.
In the 1960s, her research on pictorial space is expressed in a series of metallic reliefs, sculpted and mechanically painted, in architectural pavilions that are modifiable by the consumer-spectator. In 1967, Charlotte Posenenske conceives of the series D and DW: quadrangular tubes rely on a modular system in which production, distribution, and consumerism, call into question industrial processes. Their manipulation is entrusted to the spectator (series DW) and their assemblage is delegated to the exhibition curator (series D). By leaving the final form of her works up to others’ imaginations and supervision, the artist celebrates societal cooperation and criticizes standardized work. Between perfection and disorder, imagination and impediments, vindication and powerlessness, fluid diversions and rational forms, Charlotte Posenenske imposes a poetry of improvised action.