press release

With documents by (in chronological order) Ed Ruscha, Judy Chicago, Adrian Piper, Robert Morris, Lynda Benglis, the Editorial Board of Artforum International in 1974, readers of Artforum International, Ingrid Sischy, Piotr Uklanski, Danh Vo, Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho

With a work by Alejandro Cesarco

In November 1974, a publication by Lynda Benglis (b.1941 in Lake Charles, USA) in Artforum International triggered a scandal in the art world. The artist went down in history with her advertising parody, a two-page spread showing her dressed solely in sunglasses, a double-dildo in her hand. Few months earlier, Robert Morris (b. 1931 in Kansas City, USA) had chosen a similar self-staging strategy for the poster of his solo exhibition at the Castelli and Sonnabend galleries, appearing bare-chested with metal chains, sunglasses and an army helmet. Both artists had worked closely together shortly before and had experimented jointly with photographic self-representations. Morris's picture, on the other hand, hardly provoked a response.

The Künstlerhaus Bremen is presenting reactions to Benglis's publication alongside the images themselves in the form of historical documents that are accompanied by further selected artist advertisements. The collection sheds light on the interaction of power structures, self-representational strategies and the economics of desire.

These mechanisms are still entangled with the current artistic production processes, yet trigger new issues today. The Who do you love? exhibition showed last year at the gallery Mathew in Berlin constitutes the contemporary counterpart to Morris's and Benglis's photographs. Enzo Camacho, Lisa Jo, Margaret Lee, Amy Lien, Carissa Rodriguez, Amy Yao and Anicka Yi were initially invited, but they decided to delegate the realization of the exhibition to Lien (b. 1987 in Dallas, USA) and Camacho (b. 1985 in Makati, The Philippines). The final outcome—a replica of the Berlin Wall bearing sentimental and political graffiti—employs a parodistic tone as well and questions the modalities available to express a political and cultural identity in the post-1989 world. The Künstlerhaus Bremen presents a second layer of this special exhibition in the form of a documentation that further reflects on self-representational strategies.

The exhibition brings together documents and pictures that have been assembled in the context of a research grant in New York. Encounters that took place in this framework shape the content as well; among them Alejandro Cesarco (b. 1975 in Montevideo, Uruguay), who presents the sole artwork in a traditional sense in this exhibition. His video depicts a conversation between a couple, indirectly discussing the thin line between the personal and the public, and constitutes the prologue to this show.

Curated by Fanny Gonella. The project was conducted with the support of Independent Curators International (ICI) and the ICI / French Institute Fellowship and is indebted to the work of David Platzker.