Double Life: Identity And Transformation In Contemporary Art
Published by Walther König, Köln.
Artwork by Valie Export, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Ion Grigorescu, Lynn Hershman, Elke Krystufek, Friedl Kubelka, Marina Abramovic, Eleanor Antin, Zoe Leonard, Adrian Piper. Photographs by Cindy Sherman. Edited by Sabine Breitwieser, Pierre Huyghe. Text by Ruth Noack, Yvonne Volkart, Dietrich Karner.
To be able to take one's self off like a jacket and put on another self--who hasn't occasionally wished it were possible? Identity and transformation are among the central issues for contemporary art making, and Double Life pulls together a diverse selection of artists whose work embraces the possibilities of personality and appearance, racial and sexual stereotype, role-playing and reality. The artists in Double Life--from Marina Abramovic, Adrian Piper, and Andy Warhol to Ion Grigorescu, Eleanor Antin, Pierre Huyghe and Cindy Sherman--have all employed various strategies in their desire to assume different roles. Whether ironic, eccentric, utopian or critical, their methods have ranged from the subtle to the extreme. Zoe Leonard's pin-up calendar is filled with sexy portraits of her bearded self. Early black-and-white photographs by Cindy Sherman show the artist casually dressed as a random sampling of everyday people. Pierre Huyghe's Ann Lee is an anime extra, a digital character completely lacking any discernible identity. But artist Lynn Hershman perhaps best articulates the issue when she writes, "I always told the truth for the person who I was, but the person kept fluctuating."