Leda Bourgogne at Jiri Svestka Gallery

Artist: Leda Bourgogne

Exhibition title: In The Feelings Of My Shadow

Venue: Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague, The Czech Republic

Date: April 10 – June 8, 2019

Photography: Jan Kolský / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague

The solo show “In The Feelings Of My Shadow” of Leda Bourgogne is a complex installation comprising paintings, installative elements and sound, evoking an atmosphere ranging between the gym, theater stage and BDSM studio. In her meticulously built objects Leda Bourgogne works with allusions of historical painting and assemblage techniques, moving between handicraft and found objects. The frame and canvas serve for her as a means of pointing out power relations and the contingency of identity constructions. In her work she thematizes the objecthood of the image, the surface and sharp edges of which are covered fetishistically with layers of torn fabrics, latex or nylon. She lovingly cares for her objects as suffering non-normative bodies which are hurt by desire, the impact of social wrongdoings and the tense emotions, washed out from the subconscious, of which Leda Bourgogne’s poems and texts tell about as well. Thanks to the constant shifting of focus between spatial interventions, lyrical writing and painting or sculpture-based gestures, Leda Bourgogne’s approach is capable of transitioning between multiple levels of affective, material and narrative organization of the body of her work.


One enters the space with a dandy walk, strolling down the thin line stitched across the narcissist decadence of self-care and the persistence of self-mutilation. One can almost feel the phantom pain caused by the pressure that has once been placed on images and now vanished in the past. One quickly rejects the daydream depicting a deep cut through the body of a martyr, a wound from which roses grow in full blossom. Just like a fetishist knows that the object of desire is not entirely “the thing”, but eventually succumbs to the power of the substitute. There is a need for sacrificing one’s inner disagreement in order to demonstrate understanding on the surface. The burned brand on the skin is no longer a mark of ownership, but the acceptance of being willed by someone.

The tension between emotional impact of instinctive layering and rational structuration has a similar reciprocal benefits as the changing of social roles in a carnival-ish feast of fools. The perception of one’s own corporeality changes as the unbound spirals of triskelion spin on and off again in a cabaret manner of de/masking. The one who submits and the dominating one enter the stage simultaneously, all ever-switching with the same cadence as the ground is being whipped with a jump rope.


Leda Bourgogne (born 1989 in Vienna, lives and works in Berlin) completed her Studies in Fine Arts at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main in 2017. She is represented by BQ in Berlin where she debuted with her solo show “Skinless” in 2018. Her work is currently on view at Kai 10 Arthena Foundation´s “Body In Pieces”, Düsseldorf and in “Being Towards The World” at Sophie Tappeiner, Vienna. In march 2019 she hosted a one-night event at Pogo Bar KW, Berlin, comprising an elaborate sound-installation and live performance, of which elements will be applied in “In The Feelings Of My Shadow”. In 2018 she presented her work in a duo exhibition with Ida Ekblad at Kunstverein Braunschweig. She is nominated for this year’s Swiss Art Awards.