Nicolás Guagnini and Leigh Ledare
Ana and Carl and some other couples
February 13 - March 14, 2014
Andrew Roth is pleased to present “Ana and Carl and some other couples,” a new collaborative artwork and limited edition by Nicolás Guagnini and Leigh Ledare. The two artists have a history of collaboration and dialogue, beginning in 2008 with Guagnini’s intervention into Ledare’s Mom with Hand on Bed (2004). This work is currently on view at Metro Pictures in New York in “Bad Conscience,” an exhibition organized by artist John Miller. In addition, Ledare wrote on Guagnini’s “Commodity Fetish” exhibition at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York, for the December 2011 issue of Artforum; Guagnini contributed the essay “Pretend You’re Actually Dead,” for Ledare’s exhibition catalogue on the occasion of his survey show at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, in 2012, and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, in 2013. Ana and Carl and some other couples is Guagnini and Ledare’s first large-scale collaborative work.
“Ana and Carl and some other couples” presents a printout of an article published in the New York Times on February 12, 1988, detailing Carl Andre’s acquittal on the charges that he pushed his wife, Ana Mendieta, to her death from the window of their 34th-floor apartment in Greenwich Village. In addition, 126 books — their subjects culled from the humanities and social sciences — are gridded on the floor in five rows, uniformly arranged so that the writing on the covers can be read left to right. The effect is simultaneously that of a minimalist floor sculpture and of a continuous, linear text. Each of the 126 books has been cut through with circular holes, one to four inches in diameter. Embedded within these holes, at varying depths, is imagery extracted from 1960s and 1970s pornography magazines, exhibiting a variety of positions and possibilities within human sexual interaction — a catalogue of fetishes.
To coincide with the exhibition, PPP Editions has published Ana and Carl and some other couples in an edition of 126 copies, printed on an Indigo digital press (256 pages, measuring 12 × 9-1/2 × 1 inches). Bound without covers and printed on perforated paper, each of the 126 original book-collages is paired on every double-page spread with a centered black circle, which expands in diameter as the book progresses until it fully covers the final pages in solid black. The multiple mappings of these holes suggest the camera coming at the viewer, who finally is absorbed within a larger circle that eventually exceeds the bounds of the book. Each edition is signed and numbered in white marker by the artists and housed in a black glassine wrapper affixed with a wafer seal.