Exhibition Part 1: Wednesday 3rd – Sunday 7th September 2008
Location: Rupert Sanderson, 33 Bruton Place, Mayfair, London W1J 6NP
T1+2 Gallery Annex Projects is pleased to present ‘La Bête’ Or the Object of Desire, a sensorium of delights in a show curated by Lisa K Samoto. This is the first part of a fascinating homage to the controversial Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk and the Baroque-Rococo Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti, exhibited in Rupert Sanderson’s exclusive shoe store in the heart of the West End.
This show brings together both the humorous and the grandiose tones of the contemporary search for luxury and excess. A fetishistic capitalist take on high and low culture, fashion, sexuality, death, memento vivere and the search for the ‘strange’, this selection of works acknowledges how western society seeks to explore freedom through the invention of alternative utopias and the pursuit of happiness through increasingly heightened experiences.
Be it through the return to nature or mysticism, celebrity worship, fashion cultures and counter-cultures, this in an age that venerates the cult of the individual and the cult of the cult. A fantasy nightmare is shaped in the form of tableaux vivants where narcissistic indulgences and sensual pleasures are met through the customization of our desires, however abject (‘disturbing dreams are nothing but a passing folly’, Voltaire).
Working in a variety of media, artists including Reynolds, Makiko Nagaya, Patricia Lennox,
Loukia Alavanou, Polly Morgan, Ilona Sagar, Piers Jackson, Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Antonia Guinness-Grant, Orlando Mostyn-Owen, Barry Reigate, JoWonder, Zatorski + Zatorski, Valerie Stahl von Stromberg, Liane Lang, Javier Rodriguez, Julian Smith, Annie Attridge, Tereza Buskova, Ruth Marten, Denise Palma Ferrante and others present us with a Renaissance of objets d'art and re-assemblages, cabinets of curiosities and stuffed toys, in a deliberately baroque and commercial artistic coupling between gallery and boutique.
Loukia Alavanou riotously cuts together movie and cartoon icons with punky syncopations through video kaleidoscopes. Polly Morgan’s ‘still life taxidermy fashion’ loves to flirt with death and creates curiosities alongside. Wolfe von Lenkiewicz presents an erotic sculpture of a Pompeian phallus being abducted by a flying saucer. The work by JoWonder skirts themes of animation and voyeurism with her melting sugary shoes.
Samoto sets La Bête outside the boundaries of T1+2 Gallery and its East End anatomy, and also partly outside Sanderson’s store via performances on the cobbled mews. Lines are blurred between gallery, store and street, creating a circus of artistic gymnastics that will also include an impromptu prêt-a-porter show set to Domenico Scarlatti’s sonata A K209.
A modern day version of ‘the Beauty and the Beast’, Borowczyk’s film La Bête (The Beast), a sexual fantasia and erotic masterpiece, caused an outrage when first screened at the National Film Theatre in 1975. Magnificent in its beauty and absurdity and comically sublime, it is the perfect metaphor for the interdisciplinary meeting point between high and low culture. Without remaining subservient to the themes of this film, Samoto merges Dionysian myths and Ovidian metamorphosis of gods, goddesses, humans and beasts by means of a synesthesia of seductively crafted objects and playfully woven interventions.
For enquiries please contact Lisa K Samoto on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 20 7729 8218