May 14 - June 17, 2004
Andrew Roth is pleased to announce the opening of “Obliquities,” a new performance-based installation by the collaborative team Lovett/Codagnone. The performances take place on the opening and closing dates of the exhibition; the installation presents the residue and artifacts from the performance. These include a textual-sound loop, a large neon word-piece hanging in the window, a photographic text-wallpaper, a pair of white-leather straitjackets, and two upright mirrors on opposite ends of the gallery into which Lovett/Codagnone peer.
“Obliquities,” the title, is inspired by a critique of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poetry described as a “metaphoric obliquity built around a central symbol or metaphor, consisting of subordinate images that illustrate and help to develop the idea,” and supported by Webster’s “a departure from morality or reason; a lack of straightforwardness in speech or conduct.”
The neon work presents the words I Only Want You To Love Me in exact replica of the type in the poster for the 1976 film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder; the sound loop is an excerpt from Self-Accusation by Peter Handke. Self-Accusation is one of Handke’s speak-ins which he defines as “spectacles without pictures [that] employ the speech forms that are uttered in real life.” The sound text: I recognize that I am not you/I made myself/I made myself what I am/I changed myself/I became someone else, was recorded by the artists over the course of ten consecutive days as the first words spoken in the morning and the last words before sleep, using as a guideline some of the direction that Handke offers in the introduction to Self-Accusation. Thus it is repetitive yet becomes rich in variation through the sound post-production. It is referenced in the photographic text-wallpaper that prints the same words, presented as the remaining elements in a body of blocked-out text.
The central element in the installation, the two white-leather straitjackets are worn by the two and attached at the arms which drape across the length of the gallery. They are each staring into separate mirrors, their backs turned. These restraints act both on a psychological and physical level. In the performance, the complexity of human dynamics is explored and redelivered through a pose that demands both intensity and endurance.
Lovett/Codagnone, based in New York, have worked together for nine years. Their work is included in both public and private collections. They have exhibited widely to international acclaim, including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes; and the Thread Waxing Space, New York. They recently opened a photographic installation at Galerie Praz-Delavallade in Paris and last showed in New York at Participant Inc. in 2003.