China Girl

Artworks by Bettina Kohrs ,Vicente Fita Botet

Opening: Sunday 31 January
From 4.00 pm till 6.00 pm

These are bodies upon which something is written

These are bodies upon which something is written. Bodies: spaces for inscribing and generating meaning. The human body but also the body of the canvas, that of the paper, the intangible space of memory, or the invisible fabric of what one can ever possibly imagine, are infinitely open to the mark, to the shivering sign.

The whole history of Western art has been written upon bodies. If we consider the female body as object of desire, as empty signifier, devoid of any possibility for self- representation and self-identification, we must also speak of how it has been subject of particular forms of generating meaning about the world.

In this sense, the works presented by Bettina and Vicente at Mirta Demare Gallery, are about this process of writing and re-writing. They ask us to see the female body as both product and producer of meaning, or what I would much rather call, sensibilities. More than rebel against inherited cannons, the artists venture to the possibility of re- writing these bodies while reflecting upon the meanings assigned to them.

The two artists, working with different mediums and techniques, turn to the encounter of certain sensibilities that are, only apparently, opposites. Bettina imagines female bodies as having a potent and vigorous strength, almost as contemporary versions of the Venus of Willendorf. These figures, though, stand in radical contrast to the artist’s use of watercolor which is a technique that requires delicacy, softness. Vicente, who once more resorts to the site of memory, appropriates Chinese porcelain female figurines that one could once find on a domestic shelf, emphasizing their smooth and shiny quality, to suggest a kind of beauty that it is often linked to its own fragility. However, Vicente’s choice to enlarge the porcelain figurines to human size adds a whole new quality to these symbols of innocence. These objects, as decadent rococo nostalgia commodities, suddenly begin to appear threateningly human; thus transgressing their fragility and becoming aggressively sentimental.

It is in this radical exchange of values where Vicente and Bettina’s work find common ground. Strength and fragility are linked and co-exist within these bodies. For Vicente as for Bettina, this alliance is a form of rescuing values from their fixed universes. They write new-meanings upon these bodies while reminding us that they have been written upon before. These are the nebulous bodies that David Bowie imagined. The queer bodies where meaning is continuously inscribed and, by the same token, always shifting.

Patricia Ortega Miranda

China Girl

31 January - 26 March 2016

Mirta Demare
ruimte voor actuele kunst

Open: Thursday, Friday, Saturday
From 1.00 pm till 6.00 pm
and by appointment

Bergsingel 176B
NL - 3037 GN Rotterdam
Tel: 010-2810266 / 06-20608384

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