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The Pinault Collection and the Folkwang Museum Essen Present: Dancing With Myself

  • LaToya Ruby Frazier - Momme (Floral Comforter), 2008
  • John Coplans - Self-Portrait (Hand with Buttocks), 1987
April 4, 2018
Balasz Takac is alias of Vladimir Bjelicic who is actively engaged in art criticism, curatorial and artistic practice.

The famous Pinault Collection gathers around three thousand works and is considered as one of the strongest and most elaborate collection of modern and contemporary art on a global scale.

It was established by a French businessman and art collector François Pinault in 2006, and is housed in two outstanding structures in Venice, Italy – Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. This privately owned institution in not only organizing exhibitions in the city, but it is also supporting and encouraging young artists and art historians.

For the purposes of the project titled Dancing With Myself, the Pinault Collection has merged its works with the ones from Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany. The exhibition encompasses a large number of renowned artists and is centered around the theme of self-representation.

Left Marcel Bascoulard - Pose 4, 1973 Right Gioulio Paolini - Delfo II, 1968
Left: Marcel Bascoulard – Pose 4, 27 décembre 1973, 1973. Gelatin-silver print, 8.9 x 12.9 cm. Pinault Collection © Galerie Christophe Gaillard / Right: Gioulio Paolini – Delfo (II), 1968. Photograph on emulsioned canvas, 180 × 95 cm. Pinault Collection

The Concept Behind The Show

In order to present their ideas properly, the curators Martin Bethenod and Florian Ebner have made a thorough selection from both collections. As a matter of fact, initially, their concept was shown in 2016 in Essen, while the new version of the same show was edited with the works from the Pinault Collection.

The show is divided into four segments (Raw Material, Melancholia, Political Autobiographies, and Identity Games) and deals with different artistic practices devoted to psychological and physical aspects of the individual (cultural, gender or political) identity.

Expressed through various media ranging from photography to installation, the whole narrative revolves around the alternative perception of the self in relation to the repressive mechanisms of social norms and moral.

Roni Horn - a.k.a., 2008 - 2009
Roni Horn – a.k.a., 2008 – 2009. 30 paired photographs. Inkjet prints on rag paper, 38.1 x 33 cm. Pinault Collection. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Hermann Feldmann

The Artists Ravishment

Beside the works of well-known artists such are Damien Hirst or Cindy Sherman, the public will be able to see as well the works of little known artists who have produced distinct oeuvres.

For example, Claude Cahun represented herself in accordance with the belief that a search for identity is never-ending. By appropriating role play and often acting as a drag king, she was devotedly committed to the deconstruction of binary gender roles.

On the other hand, the artist LaToya Ruby Frazier sets her socially engaged angle on self-representation through the issues of race and class.

Therefore, it seems that this exhibition attempts to survey how the artists need to present their persona, body or simply the image they wish to project has changed during the time but hasn’t lost its importance and strength regardless of the social and political upheavals.

Left Urs Lüthi - Tell me who stole your smile Right Claude Cahun - Autoportrait, 1929
Left: Urs Lüthi – Tell me who stole your smile, 1974. Portfolio with 8 offset prints, 38 x 30 cm. Folkwang Museum / Right: Claude Cahun – Autoportrait, 1929. Gelatin – silver print, 42 x 34 cm. Pinault Collection

Dancing With Myself at Punta della Dogana

This comprehensive collective exhibition is going to be on display for almost eight months at Punta della Dogana in Venice, so it will open on 8 April and last until December 16, 2018.

During the course of the exhibition, one of the following programs will be the artist talk with Gilbert & George, which will accompany the screening of their feature-length film from 1981 titled The World of Gilbert & George.

Featured images: LaToya Ruby Frazier – Momme (Floral Comforter), 2008. Gelatin silver print, 40 x 50, 8 cm. Pinault Collection © LaToya Ruby Frazier; John Coplans – Self-Portrait (Hand with Buttocks), 1987. Gelatin silver print, 43.7 x 53.4 cm. Folkwang Museum © John Coplans Trust. All images courtesy Punta della Dogana.