bis 23.06. | #1996ARTatBerlin | BQ Berlin shows from 28. Apirl 2018 the exhibition „Skinless“ by the artist Leda Bourgogne.
Using Freud, Roland Barthes describes the “special sensitivity of the loving subject” in fragments of a language of love as a skinless state: “I am a’bubble of irritable substance. “I have no skin (except for the caress).” *1
Leda Bourgogne seems to work in the awareness that everything that inscribes itself into the picture surface or the exhibition space exposes something painfully – Roland Barthes writes of “weak spots” – an idea, a desire, a feeling that is in a way presented to a public naked. In this sense, her works often unfold as an interplay of action – which is perceived from the outset as an injury and disturbance – and a care, a reparation, which, however, does not eradicate the previous action, but underlines and confirms it in a peculiar way.
In a sense, this approach resembles the relationship between paranoid-schizoid and depressive position described by Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion. While in the paranoid-schizoid position aggressive and exploitative impulses are directed at a fragmented and split object, in the depressive position love, guilt and the need to make amends for an’entire’ object are perceived as ambivalent. In Bourgogne’s work, for example, traces of hatred and concern can be seen in relation to the object, which can also be seen as’art’.
In this way, entities emerge which bear witness to an integrative force and which assert themselves on the brink of collapse, lack of support and insecurity. The strong sensuality of the paintings, which in turn move on the border between painting and sculpture, is first and foremost evident in the choice of painting grounds with which the stretcher frames are covered: instead of the frosty canvas, soft fabrics such as jersey and velvet appear, but also latex, which is particularly close to human skin. In general, the idea of a skin or a body of the painting is omnipresent in Bourgogne’s work, also in the sense of a’second skin’ of clothing.
This skin is now exposed to various attacks: partly it is burned with eau de javel, cut up or simply painted or steamed up with further fabric parts and fabrics. Actions that in a way destroy the integrity of the skin, actions in which the artist herself becomes skinless by exhibiting. With these traces of devastation Leda Bourgogne stages a kind of thriller in Skinless.
In a second,’excusing’ step, these negations are now often sewn, glued or even kissed again (which is proven by clear traces of lipstick). The aspect of clothing also plays a role here – a kind of friendly impulse. Leda Bourgogne takes up ideas of informal art, arte povera, tachism, feminist theory and psychoanalysis. But these dialogues are repeatedly interrupted in favour of a quasi-haptic way of experience, a dialogue of the bodies, which causes a striking lyricism of the works, whereby the fabrics and textures begin to unfold their own language. The interplay of negation and affirmation, of rejection and careful resumption takes place in dreamy tissues of injuries and reparations. In this way Bourgogne succeeds in releasing in her works something like a split but patched up life – which often expresses itself with humour in a kind of dignity of the material, as an affirmation of the incomplete, injured, desiring: Screens strapped with belts claim a quasi-personal integrity and an inner connection for themselves; even if this connection exists in a mechanics of contradictions.
Bourgognes Chewing Gum-Poems, meaning chewing gum placed on the floor of the exhibition hall, which the artist has chewed away in one of the last weeks, are described like speech bubbles with short poems, which brings word and mouth together again in a strange way and evokes coolness and exhaustive bruxism at the same moment. Paintings that touch themselves or lurk vampiresk on a love object float self-sufficiently in strange atmospheric appearances. In the readymades of backbone CD-sculptures, CD stands that have become obsolete these days are erected like bent spinal columns that have cut off the connection to the brain and are now beginning a snake-like, lambent seduction dance. Suspended shreds of clothing in which the artist could still be seen on the streets of Frankfurt or Berlin a few months ago roam through the doors between the exhibition rooms, making the visitor feel her’brushstroke’, so to speak. In addition to the aesthetics of tactility (the lyricism of her paintings, which speaks for itself), one could say that Bourgogne also illustrates certain thought and learning processes that are not limited to artistic creation, but ultimately depict something like a psychic life that oscillates between disintegration and integration.
*1 Roland Barthes: Fragments of a Language of Love. Frankfurt am Main 2015, p. 125.
Vernissage: Friday, 27th April 2018
Exhibition Period: Samstag, 28th 2018 bis Samstag, 23rd Juni 2018Zu BQ
Image Caption: “Killing For Company”, 2018 Boxhandschuhe, Watte, Strumpfhose, Latex, Lederjacke 136 x 59,5 x 37,5 cm Courtesy BQ, Berlin Photos: Roman März, Berlin
Exhibition: Leda Bourgogne „Skinless“ – BQ Berlin | Opening Berlin | Contemporary Art | Zeitgenössische Kunst | Exhibitions Berlin | Kunst in Berlin | Galleries Berlin | ART at Berlin