Nicole Gravier “So Long” at Akwa Ibom, Athens

By Last Updated: June 1, 2023Views: 460

Within the wake of the 1968 scholar protests, Nicole Gravier moved to Milan and started to make artwork. Over the course of the next decade, she would come to supply a seminal physique of labor. Within the collection proven right here, she deconstructs the press and media of the time, dislodging patriarchal narratives and undermining capitalist modes. As she mimics the instruments utilized by an trade designed to subdue the plenty with leisure, Gravier lays naked these conceits we’re normally all too drained to note. She builds a language that’s uniquely hers, setting her aside from artists like Cindy Sherman, who labored comparably and contemporaneously in the US (Sherman’s 1976 Bus Riders postdates Gravier’s Cartes Postales). If her eye is analytical and discerning, her voice is distinctly playful and poetic, and on this contradiction, she reconstructs a world we will all sympathize with and discover consolation in.

In Myths et Clichés/Fotoromanzi (1976-1980) and Cartes Postales/Postcards (1973), Gravier locations herself each in entrance of and behind the digicam (she is the protagonist within the photographs that you simply see), creating scenes which are directly explicit and generic. She is there to obtain the guarantees of a burgeoning capitalist world, the tales of a quickly increasing, tirelessly broadcast America, the nuclear household, cash, and fame—decision in surrendering. Gravier turns into fascinated by the cosmic magnetism of social guarantees, or pressures: of Love, Magnificence, Success, Tradition, and Happiness (“the clichés” as she calls them). After which, she defies them. She does so, merely, by embracing them after which being daring sufficient to elaborate on them. Each fantasy she momentarily inhabits is sophisticated by components which may, at first look, appear misplaced. These tonal and stylistic disruptions—a e book with Marilyn Monroe on its cowl reads “the making of a lady,” a duplicate of the fotoromanzo Noidue sits subsequent to a Crimson Brigade pamphlet—reveal a extra intricate actuality, one which could at first seem darkish, however is profoundly hopeful and honest. In her works, she nonetheless yearns for love, magnificence, success, tradition, and happiness, however these mantras are now not capitalised, nor are they capitalised upon. They’re now obscure needs, their helter-skelter chaos eroding the inflexible outlines of capitalism’s myths. “So lengthy, Nicole” she indicators off her emails, a callback to the glamorous farewells of the fotoromanzo, earlier than she invitations us again to an anxiety-inducing however nonetheless extra human world.

at Akwa Ibom, Athens
till June 1, 2023

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