Magazine article Artforum International

"Curiosity": Galerie Micheline Szwajcer

Magazine article Artforum International

"Curiosity": Galerie Micheline Szwajcer

Article excerpt

"Curiositat" (Curiosity), a remarkable group show curated by the French artist Francois Curler, was an examination of the curio--an object considered novel, rare, or bizarre. Hntering the exhibition, one got to the heart of the matter right away, passing through a door whose frame was a large replica of a zipper. This was Michelle Naismith's Portable Liberator, 2008, just one of the many oddities in store. In the initial room, in a display case to the right, appeared two works by two pairs of artists. The first, Patrice Gaillard & Claude's Untitled, 2008, consisted of a simple disc of transparent glass whose reverse side had been painted black. Not only was the function of this obscure object impossible to determine; even its aesthetic status seemed in question. But it was precisely this sophisticated absurdity that gave the piece its flavor in this context. The second work, by the Belgian-Italian couple Simona Denicolai and Ivo Provoost, involved a series of bones on which the logo of a Belgian telecommunications company was affixed. 0$ et cranes d'une societe (Bones and Skulls of a Company), 2005, was a play on Marcel Broodrhaers's famous Femur d'homme beige (Femur of a Belgian Man), 1965.

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Some equally improbable sculptures occupied the center of the room as well. Andreas Slominski's giant Badger Trap, 1998, set up in a large green oil drum, was a precarious and hilarious folly; from the floor beside it sprang a bulbous sculpture that resembled a bit of graffiti lettering expanded to three dimensions. Bomb. R Supert Sport, 2006, by Frederic Plateus. There were also distorted metallic rods by Freek Wambacq, Bent, 2006-2007, which seemed to refer at once to minimalist sculpture and to the art of snake charming--certainly one of the more surprising combinations. …

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