Delmes & Zander at the Independent Brussels
Opening: April 20, 2016
12 to 6 pm (VIP preview), 6 to 8 pm (public opening)
OTHER / one - Portraits
featuring works by
Morton Bartlett, Margarethe Held, Paul Humphrey, Margret, Obsession (anonymous), Miroslav Tichy, Type 42 (anonymous), Eugene von Bruenchenhein
Obsession (anonymous), untitled, 1870s, photo collage, historical albumin
and salt paper prints, partially hand-coloured, approx. 29 x 24 cm
Delmes & Zander attends the very first edition of the Independent Brussels with OTHER/ one – Portraits. This is the second part of an exhibition series inaugurated with ONE/ other – Self Portraits at the Independent New York in March 2016.
OTHER/ one – Portraits is the result of an unusual relationship between subject and object. The gaze of “one” upon the “other” is obsessive, the work repetitive in its nature and formally of serial character. It has the coherence of an ongoing project perpetuated by devouring compulsiveness: each one of the artists dedicates their oeuvre purely to one subject only. The subject is at the mercy of the artist in the same way as the artist is at the mercy of his uncontrollable obsession.
Being subject to the author's yearnings, the gaze manifests itself in a number of ways. And whether fuelled by sexual desire, the urgency to control the other or to gain power over its counterpart, the work is always an end in itself: an imperative endeavour to shape the other so that he or she can fit into the world the author has constructed in his fantasy.
Paul Humphrey repeatedly shuts his subjects' eyes in the act of drawing, making his Sleeping Beauties docile, powerless; Morton Bartlett shapes his dolls with his own hands, small in size and with childlike obedience; In the photo collages of Obsession, an unknown author turns women into subservient victims, ready to burn at the stake with no defence.
The portraits of Margret, taken in the impenetrable cumplicity of a love affair, transform her into an idealized creation of her lover and employer Günter K.. Similarly, Eugene von Bruenchenhein turns his wife Marie from exotic princess to tinseltown temptress in the intimacy of their hermetical domesticity.
In its painstaking rigour, the work sometimes acquires an archival character. This is not only the case with Miroslav Tichy, who aimed at photographing one hundred women a day, but also with the encyclopaedic body of anonymous work Type 42 or even in Margarethe Held's lifework The Uncontrollable Universe (Unkontrollierbares Universum): an attempt to pin down the chaos unleashed by inner visions in a publication which brings together pictures bestowed upon her from the beyond.
Although there are no self-portraits shown in OTHER/ one, the works say everything about their authors - they unabashedly mirror the artist. His work provides him with
the persona he has aspired to. In the end, ONE and OTHER are thus both forms of self-portrayal.
The exhibitions will be accompanied by a small booklet.