As transparent as you like, part I

Leonor Antunes
I Stand Like a Mirror Before You, 2015

Installation view I
New Museum 
Photo: Benoit Benoit Pailley

The mirror and the transparent glass are both about the experience of discovery through acts of seeing.  In the mirror one sees a reversed image and in front of the transparent glass one sees what is beyond.  While the mirror is to be looked upon, by contrast the transparent glass is to be looked through. Switching between these two ideas of seeing, Leonor Antunes’s installation I Stand Like a Mirror Before You, 2015 created for the New Museum’s lobby gallery conceptually and physically intermixes mirror and transparency. The New Museum has always been at the forefront of showcasing new art, but as in this case shows that the museum’s architecture is not just a white cube for housing works, it can also play a crucial part in the making of the art. 

Leonor Antunes
I Stand Like a Mirror Before You, 2015

Installation view II
Detail of random intersections #16, 2015
New Museum 
Photo: Benoit Benoit Pailley
Leonor Antunes
I Stand Like a Mirror Before You, 2015

Installation view III
New Museum 
Photo: Benoit Benoit Pailley

Working like an architectural designer and an artist, Antunes is interested in exploring spatial relationships between objects and placements.  Instead of functionality, Antunes speaks of her work in terms of activation in physical space. Taking traditional craftworks as a foundation, every piece in I stand like a mirror before you is hand-made with diligent consideration to material and form.  With titles such as Anni, 2015, and Mesh, 2015, the individual pieces pays tribute to the legacy passed on from women artists who did not receive the same kind of appraises as the male artists of their generation. Inspired by artists such as Anni Albers and Maya Deren, the title such as Mesh mirrors the title of Deren’s first film Meshes of the Afternoon made in 1943.  Meanwhile mesh also refers to a type of weaving with inter-connected loops.  Then the piece titled Anni calls to mind the textile hanging rugs made by Anni Albers between the 1920s and the 40s.  Even though Antunes chose leather and cotton rope as opposed to more fibrous materials like what Albers had used, nonetheless the reference is hard to miss.  

Leonor Antunes
I Stand Like a Mirror Before You, 2015

Installation view IV
New Museum 
Photo: Benoit Benoit Pailley


Part II will be posted in the next few weeks ... with more images. xx ch

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