“Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency”

Art, Contemporary art FLAG Art Foundation , Chelsea Wednesday July 18 2018 - Friday August 17 2018
3 out of 5 stars
“Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency”
Photograph: Courtesy the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles

Stepping into Genevieve Gaignard’s first New York solo exhibition, you find yourself gazing into the unsettling void of a black mirror. Mounted on Victoria wallpaper that depicts a field of prim, pouting, snow-white female faces, the dark oval presents the viewer with a literal and figurative reflection of otherness. Gaignard’s installation, Seeing is Believing, thus makes for a blunt but memorable introduction to a visually busy exhibition in which issues of racial, sexual and cultural difference are key, especially as we see them represented (or, much more often, misrepresented) in the already ideologically fraught arena of the beauty industry.

“Counterfeit Currency” gathers the results of a recent period of intense creativity for Gaignard, but the collages and photographs here still feel conceptually bare-bones in comparison to her mise-en-abîme environments, a form to which she lays most convincing claim. In Be More, a bathroom set is stocked with an array of products designed to alter (meaning, of course, lighten) the appearance of black skin, while in Don’t Wish Me Well, another part-room is decorated in elaborate period tribute to the Black Panthers. These set-ups—part-sculptural, part-theatrical, part-archival—make for the artist’s most involving explorations of identity and its everyday performance.

By: Michael Wilson

Posted:

Venue name: FLAG Art Foundation
Contact:
Address: 545 W 25th St
9th Floor
New York
10001
Cross street: Between Tenth Ave and Eleventh Ave
Opening hours: Wed–Sat 11am–5pm
Transport: Subway: C, E to 23rd St
Event website: http://www.flagartfoundation.org
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