Opening: September 7, 2000 6-8pm
Finally, however, the anxious displacement and exacerbated immediacy we experience in the presence of Beecroft’s tableaux derives most powerfully from the classic, innovative maneuver of Renaissance art—from Beecroft deploying the rhetoric of one genre in the space of another, so what we feel is not so much the jolt of innovation as the jolt confounded conventions.
—Dave Hickey, from upcoming publication documenting Vanessa Beecroft performances, published September 2000 by Hatje Cantz, Germany.
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of VANESSA BEECROFT: VB43 PHOTOGRAPHS. A selection of photographs made during VB43, the inaugural performance event staged by Beecroft in the new Gagosian Gallery London on May 9, 2000.
The photographs select moments over the course of hours of “performance” where one sees twenty-three pale, red-haired girls standing, leaning, sitting and lying in the gallery space they occupied for the duration of the work. This Botticelli-like mass of girls, perhaps the most referential to classical painting so far, are captured by the photographers Armin Linke (Italian) and Todd Eberle (American). On view for the first time are life-sized portrait photographs of each girl in the performance, illustrating Beecroft’s constant theme of “group-identity” in a new form. Also new this year in Beecroft’s work are panoramic format photographs, which accentuate the “tableau” impression viewers witnessed at VB43. Large-scale triptychs are also featured in the exhibition, taken at the beginning of the performance—with all models standing—and a little later—when some have begun to slouch or sit.
Vanessa Beecroft was born in Italy in 1969. She grew up in Italy and moved to the U.S. five years ago. Her recent museum performances include: VB42 a live event with the U.S. Navy on the flight deck of the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier in New York as part of the 2000 Whitney Biennial; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 1999; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego 1999 and the Guggenheim Museum, New York 1998. This October, the third and final Navy performance VB44 will take place in Naples followed in December by a performance for the opening of the new wing of the Vienna Kunsthalle. In mid-October Beecroft will present three hundred drawings previously unseen at a new non-profit space in London, Broadway Project Trust, Fulham. A fully illustrated catalogue documenting Beecroft’s performances from 1994 to 1998 will be available in late September 2000 and will be published by Hatje Cantz, Germany.