“Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer” at Kunstmuseum Basel


On this exhibition, Louise Bourgeois’s paintings is gifted via Jenny Holzer’s curatorial imaginative and prescient—with an lend a hand from Kunstmuseum Basel’s Anita Haldeman—thus drawing parallels between the 2 artists’ use of the written phrase as an artwork shape unto itself. Right through a press convention, Holzer recalled being marked through Bourgeois’s sculpture Femme Maison, 1982, and assembly the ambitious Frenchwoman in particular person within the Nineteen Eighties (“she was once no longer enjoying”). The exhibition’s subtitle—“The Violence of Handwriting Throughout a Web page”—accentuates the forceful fee of self-expression, even if masquerading at the back of wry humor. Opposite to Holzer—lengthy synonymous with all-caps slogans that telescope societal failings—Bourgeois obsessively mined her internal, confronting want, fury, and trauma regardless that stream-of-consciousness reflections scrawled onto loose-leaf paper and journals, in tandem with psychoanalysis. Her writings took on stark new immediacy when she extracted sure words, giving them satisfaction of position on light mail sacks (“I neeD my mEmoRies. THEY ARe my DOCUMENTS”), marble (“THE HOUR IS DEVOTED TO REVENGE”) or coated track paper (“I'm at the different aspect of melancholy/and this occurs to me 4 occasions an afternoon”). There's a transparent overlap, nevertheless, between Holzer and Bourgeois’s dealing with of textual content: Each and every deployed it, tactically, to channel seething discontent, albeit towards other objectives.

Past the 9 galleries devoted to Bourgeois’ paintings, one can pay attention a recording of the artist making a song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” within the elevator, whilst the passageway linking the museum’s two separate constructions options the rarely-seen and moderately unnerving Twosome, 1991, a hefty mechanical tank automobile, incandescent with lurid crimson mild, heaving back-and-forth on a monitor. As an add-on, Holzer advanced an augmented-reality app, remodeling Bourgeois’s 1974 set up Destruction of the Father right into a virtual “revel in,” which frankly turns out like one thing Bourgeois would have loathed. Extra fittingly, Holzer positioned a couple of selection Bourgeois works inside the Swiss museum’s everlasting assortment. A duplicate of the phallic drawing Fillette, 1998, hung subsequent to a codpiece-centric sixteenth-century portrait through Tobias Stimmer, is particularly memorable.