opened CHARIVARI (uproar in medieval French), an exhibition by Lorenza Longhi and Megan Marrin, named after the 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 Longhis 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 dêtre 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.
Lorenza Longhi (Lecco, Italy), lives and works in Zurich. Recent solo exhibitions include: Minuet of Manners, Kunsthalle Zürich (2021); Treat Yourself to a Break, Weiss Falk, Basel (2021); Cosmopolitan Haze, Bungalow, Berlin (2020); Visual Hell, Fanta MLN, Milan (2019). Longhi's work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including: 17th Quadriennale d'Arte, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2020); Summer of Suspence, Kunsthalle Zürich (2020); Protect Me from What I Want, Kunst Halle St. Gallen (2019); Capriccio 2000, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2019), and Where Wild Flowers Grow, Armada, Milan (2016).
Megan Marrin (St. Louis, Missouri), lives and works in New York City. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: 340 E. 9th Street Mural, Swiss Institute, New York (ongoing); House for a Sportswoman, with Linder, dépendance, Brussels (2022); Compliance, Efremedis Gallery, Berlin (2021); Convalescence, Queer Thoughts, New York (2021). Recent solo exhibitions include: Devastation, Queer Thoughts, New York (2021) Fifteen Painters, Andrew Kreps, New York (2021); My Head is a Haunted House, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2019).