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Update: 2013 ICI/French Institute Fellow Fanny Gonella

Fanny Gonella was selected as the 2013 ICI/French Institute Fellow. Gonella, who has since become Artistic Director of Künstlerhaus Bremen, researched the artistic legacy of Robert Morris, focusing on the critical discourse his work generated around 1970s notions of queer identity, social constructs, and stereotypes. This research has developed into an exhibition for Künstlerhaus Bremen.


February 14 – April 12, 2015

On view at Künstlerhaus Bremen

LYNDA, ROBERT, AMY, ENZO UND DIE ANDEREN, curated by Fanny Gonella, Künstlerhaus Bremen (Photo: Cosima Hanebeck).

In November 1974, a publication by Lynda Benglis (b.1941 in Lake Charles, USA) in Artforum International triggered a scandal in the art world. The artist went down in history with her advertizing parody, a two-page spread showing her dressed solely in sunglasses and holding a double-dildo in her hand. Robert Morris (b. 1931 in Kansas City, USA) had chosen a similar self-staging when he appeared bare-chested with metal chains and wearing an army helmet for the poster of his solo exhibition at the Castelli and Sonnabend galleries in New York. Both artists had worked closely together shortly before and had already experimented jointly with photographic self-representations. Morris’s picture, by contrast, hardly provoked a response.

(Photo: Cosima Hanebeck)

The Künstlerhaus Bremen is presenting the reactions to this publication alongside the images themselves in the form of historical documents that are accompanied by further selected artist advertisements. The collection sheds light on the interaction of power structures, self-representational dynamics and the economics of desire—hence exposing strategies developed by artists in dealing with this system. These mechanisms are still entangled with the current artistic production processes, yet trigger new issues.

The Who do you love? exhibition on view last spring at the Mathew Gallery in Berlin constitutes the contemporary counterpart to Morris’s and Benglis’s photographs. Enzo Camacho, Lisa Jo, Margaret Lee, Amy Lien, Carissa Rodriguez, Amy Yao and Anicka Yi were initially invited, most of them living in New York, but they decided to withdraw and delegate the realization of the exhibition to Lien (b. 1987 in Dallas, USA) and Camacho (b. 1985 in Makati, The Philippines). The final outcome—a replica of the Berlin Wall bearing sentimental and political graffiti—employs a parodistic tone and questions the modalities available to express a political and cultural identity in the post-1989 world. The Künstlerhaus Bremen presents a second layer of this special exhibition at in the form of a documentation that further reflects on self-representational strategies.

The framework of this show has been provided by a research grant in New York, whereupon this ensemble of arbitrarily assembled documents and pictures is based. Encounters that took place in this context also shape the content; among them Alejandro Cesarco (b. 1975 in Montevideo, Uruguay), who presents the sole artwork in a traditional sense in this exhibition. His video depicts a conversation between a couple on the thin line between the personal and the political and constitutes the prologue to this show.


(Photo: Cosima Hanebeck)

(Photo: Cosima Hanebeck)

(Photo: Cosima Hanebeck)

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