Josephine Meckseperâ€™s exhibition at Elizabeth Dee entitled %
For her new exhibition, entitled %, the artist will transform the gallery into an environment redolent of both consumer capitalism and political protest. Starting with the faade, Meckseper will alter the windows of Elizabeth Dee Gallery to resemble the dramatic display windows of an upscale department store. Mixing semantic codes, the objects on display in one window will seem to sell a vision of current American politics, while the other will offer images of an oppositional culture of protest and references to the womens correctional facility across the street. Vinyl lettering suggests the monolithic encroachment of a homogenizing globalism in a leveraged buyout and merger of New Yorks most prominent museum, gallery, and exhibition sponsor.
Inside, Koolhaasian wood paneling, mirrored tiles, and mannequins sardonically recall the spectacle of avant garde architecture in the service of retail, while a papered wall combines reminders of an obsolescent cold war with the pattern of kefiyah scarves favored by Palestinians and protesting hipsters alike. Mirrored display cubes and wall-mounted shelves round out the complement of fixtures, but on them consumer products are juxtaposed side-by-side with paintings, collages, sculptures, and photographs evoking counter-cultural activity, including the artists own documentary images from the anti-war protest in Washington on September 24 of this year.
Mecksepers work equates our induced desire for fashion and luxury goods with the manipulations of media-driven ruling regimes, but it likewise compares both of these to their supposed antithesis in political protest movements. Partisan politics is just another status symbol. Radicalism quickly becomes radical chic, which is presented as just another formal element to be fetishized and sold in a museum cum gallery cum boutique that nostalgically samples utopian dreams from the Russian Constructivists to 1960s hippies. As the curators of the 2005 Lyon Biennale write,
in Mecksepers work politics becomes a style, and commitment an object to be displayed in a chic display cabinet, suggestive of those in museums and ethnographic societies. Through this approach, Meckseper explores the questionable links the media establish between images of political news, the fashion industry and advertising. Read the entire article hereSource:
Art in Review; Josephine MeckseperBy Roberta Smith
Josephine Meckseper's show is a total environment riven with interesting cracks. Elegantly mirrored, paneled and shelved, it has the stark, slightly too-bright emptiness of an abandoned high-end boutique occupied by style-conscious anarchists. At first the second New York gallery show of this German-born, New York-based artist swings anemically between the obvious and the lazy - not an engaging range of motion. But look again and the piece functions as walk-in Conceptual Art. Enveloped in a brittle glamour, its desiccated scraps mine the overlap of art, politics and consumerism.
Outside the gallery's soaped-over front door, forlorn window displays acknowledge both the real and the plausible: the Women's House of Detention across the street, and the imminent arrival of a business named DR Gagosian UBS. Inside, a hammer and sickle sit on a mirrored cube, and the Texaco star doubles as the Red Star. A red-and-white sign blares SALE. Mannequins, glass baubles and toilet-bowl cleaners alternate with collages that mix black lace, scraps of Palestinian scarves and Constructivist geometries. One collage mentions the Angry Brigade, a group of British anarchists believed to have bombed more than 100 sites (including a Biba boutique) in the early 1970's, without casualties. Read the entire article here Source:
New Tork Times