Breyer P-Orridge, Video still from Weird Woman #1, 2003/2010, Courtesy Invisible-Exports, New York
Crazy Lady: Curated by Jane Harris Robert Beck, Lizzi Bougatsos, Kathe Burkhart, Daniella Dooling, Lisa Levy, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Stephanie Snider
Lordan Bunch: Det Syke
September 8 – October 8, 2011
Societies do not succeed in offering everyone the same way of fitting into the symbolic order; those who are, if one may say so, between symbolic systems, in the interstices, offside, are the ones who are afflicted with what we call madness. —Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement
Madness is terrific I can assure you, and not to be sniffed at; and in its lava I still find most of the things I write about. It shoots out of one everything shaped, final, not in mere driblets, as sanity does. —Virginia Wolff
I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women, though, they’re all ‘crazy.’ I have a suspicion—and hear me out, because this is a rough one—that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to f—k her anymore. —Tina Fey
I should come with a consumer warning, like the labels that say “Handle with care” or “May be hazardous to your health.” I am unfit for human consumption. I struggle to articulate how awful and isolating this feels, but I can’t find the words. —Martha Manning
I began to think that melancholy was a dialect that only some people knew—or could even hear—and in my conversations, I sought these people out. —Virginia Heffernan
Like the quotes gathered here, the seven artists featured in Crazy Lady —Lizzi Bougatsos, Robert Beck, Kathe Burkhart, Daniella Dooling, Lisa Levy, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Stephanie Snider—reflect many perspectives on the trope of the madwoman in western culture. Humorous, painful, reflexive, historical, the diversity of their voices is intentionally cacophonic, conveying the pathology of the stereotype itself, and its impact on women in all its endless derivations—hysteric, nympho, spinster, harpy, cat lady, witch, bag lady, wannarexic, etc. In an age of therapy and meds where on one hand, mental illness has become less stigmatized and on the other, disorders are manufactured to sell pills, notions of what’s crazy and what’s not, are even more complicated for women who don’t “fit in”—especially artists. The work in Crazy Lady is by no means exhaustive, hoping only to open a dialogue well-mined in literature, film, and music, but rarely tackled in the visual arts.
Jane Harris is a Brooklyn-based writer and curator whose work has appeared in publications from Art in America and Time Out New York to Huffington Post and the Village Voice. She has contributed essays to various catalogues, most recently Examples to Follow: Expeditions in Aesthetics and Sustainability (Hatje Cantz), and is currently at work on her own book After: The Role of the Copy in Modern Art. She is the founder of the blog(zine), janestown.net, and is a member of the art history faculty at the School of Visual Arts.
Det Syke is Lordan Bunch’s fourth exhibition at Schroeder Romero and features new paintings and studies in oil derived from photographs reproduced in Iconographie Photographique de la Salpetriere (1877-1880), a multi volume collection of photographs documenting women diagnosed with hysteria. On a base level these reproductions are barely discernible patterns of ink indicating the reflection of light off fabric, skin, furniture and architecture. Disregarding the extraordinary circumstances surrounding these original images being made, the artist is trying to connect with the vestige of humanity still present, by manually copying these mechanically reproduced utilitarian photographs printed more than 130 years ago. The title is in reference to Det Syke Piken (The Sick Girl), 1881 by Christian Krohg.
Please contact the gallery for further information: (212) 630-0722 or firstname.lastname@example.org