Artists: Nina Beier and Lisa Holzer
Exhibition title: “Oh I love this one” & Facing Figure Wallet
Venue: Meessen De Clercq, Brussels, Belgium
Date: May 22 – June 20, 2015
Photography: images courtesy of the artists and Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
The juxtaposition of Nina Beier and Lisa Holzer came about from a sculpture in the private collection of the gallery by Nina Beier, who in turn expressed the wish to pair the work with a picture by Lisa Holzer. The aim was to put together two works that had never communicated before. On one side, Nina Beier’s Facing Figure Wallet, a bronze bust of Dante whose face has been sliced off, is presented in an ordinary display case, devoid of aesthetic quality. The cutting-off of the face reveals a cavity, which is half-full of immaculate unused white underwear. Opposite this display case is Lisa Holzer’s Oh I love this one! (blushing), a work on paper with a subtle colour gradation, whose frame glass has been retouched with finger painting. There is a complex dialogue between the two works, which opens up various levels of reading. The works are positioned very close to each other, enabling the visitor to pass between them, but at the same time giving the impression of interrupting a conversation. This proximity emphasises the physical intimacy that Beier imparts to her work, but also enables the viewer to discover in Holzer’s work a text reproduced on the back, which describes a nail polish remover by Chanel. On the one hand, underwear of a sub-brand, and on the other, a cosmetic synonymous with luxury. On the one hand, an iconoclastic gesture (one of the great humanists, a pillar of global literature, a cut-off face), and on the other, a silent image in pastel colours which appears to arouse an aesthetic desire. In general, the work of the two artists challenges the ambiguous mechanisms of our society and the fetishism of consumer goods. One can also observe the paradoxical relationship between this exposed face and these clothes which have the function of masking, hiding from view. With this comparison, it is impossible to avoid thinking, among other things, about the consumerist obsession of contemporary society, but also about the association of culture – commerce (Dante versus Chanel) or formal relationships (interior/exterior, hollow/full, displayed/hidden).
Nina Beier was born in 1975 and recently exhibited her work at the Kunstverein in Hamburg, at the David Roberts Foundation in London, and at Metro Pictures, New York; Standard Oslo, Oslo; Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp and in a large number of group exhibitions.
Lisa Holzer was born in Vienna in 1971. She recently exhibited her work at Galerie Emanuel Layr in Vienna, Rowing in London and Dingum in Berlin and in group exhibitions such as 21er Haus, Vienna, Air de Paris, Paris and MLartspace, New York. Her work can be seen at present at the Triennale of the New Museum in New York.
Nina Beier, Facing Figure, 2014
Lisa Holzer, Oh I love this one! (blushing), 2013
Nina Beier, Facing Figure, 2014