Outpost is proud to present Live Through That ?!!, an exhibition of new works by Lili Reynaud-Dewar.
A pair of films projected onto the gallery walls echo one another across the space. Reynaud-Dewar, her body naked and blackened with make-up, dances through the vacant floors and rooms of Outpost Studios, stops to smoke, rest and walk exhaustedly back or away. Fragmented the films cut from one time of day, space and sequence of movements to another, building a non-linear rhythm within and between themselves. The dance itself, similarly composed of short, repeated sequences of movement, isolated from the routines of American performer, Josephine Baker, has become, through an on-going succession of performances in the exhibition and studio spaces where Reynaud-Dewar works, a repetition of itself. The distinctive choreography, with its hints of humour, is recognisable but at the same time worn and transformed through reiteration.
Propped against another of the gallery walls, sandwiched between panes of glass, is a boy’s formal suit. Both familiar and alien, the scale unexpected and emptied of the potential to hold a body, the clothing recalls the ‘otherness’ of Reynaud- Dewar’s dancing figure - a shadow or silhouette. The in-between time of the exhibition’s installation period, when Reynaud-Dewar recorded herself, and the impermanent spaces of the studios, awaiting or without daily use, are drawn into the gallery space by her dance, rendered as present and strange as a garment recently removed and carefully set aside.
The literal muteness of the films and flattened, empty clothing at the gallery’s edges is countered by the swell of voices, building and dissipating against a repetitious, electronic beat, within the space itself. Six miniature bed-like structures, their frames wrapped in bright, block patterned African-style fabrics, are arranged at haphazard angles across the floor, cables trailing from one to the next. Each houses a speaker playing one of four channels of sound, either mono or paired in an imperfect stereo. From one a voice begins to read aloud, slightly awkward, self-conscious. Another joins and then another. They repeat the same text in a round, their rhythms of speech coincidentally falling in and out of time with themselves and the music, overlapping to create confusions of sound which die to a single voice, a beat and begin again. The intimacy of the reading experience subverted by the cacophony.
Belonging to members of the current Outpost committee, the voices read from Live Through That ?!, a text by American poet, Eileen Myles. Centred around the act of flossing the confessional, first person narrative strays to discuss class, health, familial relationships and the author’s anxieties and aspirations. Her direct awareness of her body and lived experiences contrasts with that of her disembodied readers. The stumbles and slippages jar and reveal the words as not belonging to their speakers but then, at points, resonate across the distance between writer, reader and listener. As elsewhere in Reynaud-Dewar’s work the artist and her performers adopt the mantle of another’s ‘I’, the movements of another’s body, yet remain unavoidably themselves. Similarities and differences of experience and perception are explored through the gulf between the artist and writer and their creations.
For the opening, Reynaud-Dewar, dressed to mirror the suit work in the exhibition, will perform readings of texts referencing the body by authors including Marguerite Duras, Claire Guezengar and Eileen Myles.
Lili Reynaud-Dewar is an artist, writer and teacher based in Grenoble, France. Together with Dorothée Dupuis and Valérie Chartrain, she is the co-founder of feminist art and entertainment magazine, 'Petunia'. Since 2011, she has been giving a reading seminar entitled 'Teaching as an adolescent' from her hotel rooming Geneva. This has led to a cycle of collaborative exhibitions with her students at Forde, Geneva (2012), Consortium, Dijon and Augarten, Vienna (2013) and Marrakech Biennial (2014).
She has had solo exhibitions at Emanuel Layr, Vienna (2014), Belvedere, Vienna and Clearing, New York (2013), Karma International, Zurich and Magasin, Grenoble (2012), Mary Mary, Glasgow and Bielefelder Kunstverein (2011), Kunsthalle Basel, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, and Frac Champagne Ardenne, Reims (2010). Recently, her work has been featured in group exhibitions held at the Logan Center, Chicago, The Studio Museum, Harlem, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Konsthal Oslo and Lisson Gallery, London (all 2013-14). Forthcoming solo shows in 2014 include Rongwrong, Amsterdam and Index, Stockholm.