HEROINE OF THE PEOPLE
16 April – 21 May 2005
Each of Mai-Thu Perret’s new sculptures can be understood as a monument, an attempt to forma- lize an abstract principle, to materialize it in a form able to travel through time. While The Crystal Frontier, a project the artist has been working on since 1999, consists of texts and objects supposedly produced by an autonomous community of women based in New Mexico–these new works are derived from fictions related to the historical avant-gardes. They emerge through dis- tortions the artist imposes on her models, on the surface of the sculptures, by slipping from one to the other, rather than through an “erudite” reading of the layers which compose them.
A tower, the streamlined archetype of turn of the century architectures, from Taut to Tatlin. A young (female) revolutionary in uniform, a rope around her neck, awaiting death in the lotus position. A formless mass, covered with gold leaf. The artist recalls how in Burma, the faith- ful gild statues of the Buddha, in a gesture of devotion. Throughout the years, these become more and more undefined, until they no longer look like anything. An off-centered stack of trian- gular slices, somewhat reminiscent of Smithson’s geological allegories. A generic modernist sculpture, the kind that has been built on thousands of public squares in Europe. One of its elements is also covered with gold leaf. Can the “crime” of ornament, denounced by Loos, be read as an entropic principle?
Fabrice Stroun, 2005