- 24 Jun 2022 - 17 Sep 2022
Lorenza Longhi and Megan Marrin “CHARIVARI”
The title of the latest exhibition by Lorenza Longhi and Megan Marrin at Ordet, CHARIVARI (“uproar” in medieval French), is the name of an experimental, avant-garde New York fashion store that, following decades of commercial and critical success, filed for bankruptcy and was wound down in 1998.
The show reflects shared interests and attitudes that inform the work of the two artists: DIY production and staging methods; a predilection for repurposing and combining different materials and imageries; and a keen interest in the material and social history of taste and in retail culture and architecture vis-à-vis the history of art installations and exhibitions.
While in residency in New York, Longhi found a 1917 catalog of templates for store sign design. These designs were stenciled and silkscreened onto mostly out-of-stock wallpapers produced by brands such as Versace, Cacharel and Naj Oleari, before being mounted on PVC panels. The juxtaposition of different visual registers and materials highlights Longhi’s longstanding focus on formalisms, procedural mechanisms, and logics of style. The artist questions the potential impermanence of aesthetic choices, but also how they remain and give rise to immediate desires in us.
The new paintings created by Marrin evoke the human body through objects and elements that still bear its memory and markings. Here, the hangers, racks, and valet stands from Bauhaus to IKEA, painted full-scale, are themselves items designed more or less figuratively as placeholders for the body: they function as extensions of it while assisting their owners. Devoid of clothes — their raison d’être — their structural character, their funny nudity, elevated to portrait subject, is fully exposed.
The two series of works presented at Ordet incorporate structural and rhetorical characteristics of retail history and modes of display. Their startling treatment and crisp familiarity as images arouse and activate personal projections on the part of the viewer.