The ICA is presenting Black Beauty, the first major solo exhibition in the UK by American artist Lutz Bacher. Occupying an important position in contemporary art practice, Lutz Bacher’s work is receiving increasing levels of international recognition.
Since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Bacher has drawn upon disconnected information from popular culture and her own life, producing works that play with the interchangeability of identity, sexuality and the human body. Bacher uses images and objects in a physical, sometimes visceral manner, conducting arrangements of seemingly disparate entities and allowing them to interact in new ways. The artist’s expansive work explores human identity as it is
defined through gender, sexuality and the human body. Lutz Bacher is as elusive as her work is ambiguous, perhaps preferring not to dictate how her works should be viewed.
The exhibition at the ICA will present new and recent works which combine striking installations with film, sound and sculpture. At the core of the exhibition will be Black Beauty (2013), several tons of coal slag which will flow throughout the lower gallery. This piece will be paired with a sound work, Puck (2012) which will envelope the viewer as they move through the space. The audio recording of the character Puck at the conclusion of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is repeated with different emphases and pronunciations.
Images taken from Bacher’s on-going series The Celestial Handbook (2011), a book depicting astronomy whilst poignantly addressing the gap occurring between the visual and verbal articulations of an idea, will be displayed framed along the concourse in the lower gallery. The upper galleries will house an installation work, Chess (2013), which is accompanied by the sound piece Elvis (2009), a looped audio work featuring Elvis Presley crooning in the background. Bacher’s interpretation of narratives is further explored in the new installation Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2013), taken from the recent film version of John le Carré’s classic novel.
The enigmatic and eclectic mixture of ideas that Bacher brings together are full of personal and philosophical significance and are frequently driven by tactical humour. Black Beauty provides a unique opportunity to see some of the most important works of Bacher’s recent career together for the first time in London.
Lutz Bacher is the focus of three exhibitions in Europe this year, the first was at Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (9 February – 14 April, 2013), the second at the ICA (25 September – 17 November 2013), and the third at Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (opening 22 November 2013). A publication presenting the artist’s complete oeuvre in the form of an artist book will also be issued in co-operation with Kunsthalle Zurich and Portikus in Frankfurt.
Lutz Bacher Black Beauty ICA Exhibition dates: 25 September – 17 November 2013
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