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In Advance of the Broken Leg


Zaha Hadid has been on my mind for a few decades. I am always initially attracted to the ways she crosses the liquid boundaries between architecture, art, and design in her work. I am also attracted to her fearless use of technology to create her work. The first show I saw of hers was in London at the ICA in 2000, when high-tech computer visualization was fairly new. At that time, she showed her curvilinear architecture presented by models and animations as the main part of the exhibition along with early paintings and drawings. Her Venice installation this summer was presented by David Gill Galleries in the Scuola dei Mercanti, a Gothic building. One came out of the scorching bright heat of mid-day Venice into the dark building. The upstairs space, painted black, created a highly a theatrical backdrop to her work. In London this past fall, she showed the same installation in a white cube of a gallery with pristinely painted walls and floors. I am delighted that Venetian videographer Daniele Frison has taken his eye to the Venice version of this installation for The Art Section. 

My relationship to Gilbert and George has been different. I have known of these artists’ collaborative works since the late 80’s, but they had been working together for decades before that. I only became aware of their early performative videos after seeing a work in Panic Attack! Art In the Punk Years at the Barbican Gallery (London, UK) this past summer. Their piece in this exhibition, entitled The World Of Gilbert and George (1981), shows rare footage of the artists’ performances. I cannot help but think of the many collaborative artist teams who have been influenced by Gilbert and George: The Art Guys, the Starn Twins, and Komar and Melamid, to name but a few. The Art Section’s critic and resident composer, Guisseppe Gavazza, was moved to create his own composition in response to Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition which he experienced Castello di Rivoli in Turin. This exhibition was first shown at the Tate and has traveled to Haus der Kunst Munich (June to September 2007) and Castello dei Rivoli, Turin (October 2007 to January 2008). This exhibition will then travel to The De Young Museum, San Francisco (February to May 2008), the Milwaukee Art Museum (June to September 2008), and the Brooklyn Museum of Art (October to January 2009). Juxtaposed with this artistic commentary by our correspondents we have we have performance critic Jon Erickson on the subject of experimentation in science and art. As for me, I am reflecting on my broken ankle as I swivel around in this wheelchair, thinking about healing and how this will all influence me. I have often been thinking about Duchamp and his work from 1915, In Advance of the Broken Arm--and what his counterpoint might be for a leg….but here is my tribute,which is a sort of combine. 

Thank you.

Deanna Sirlin is an artist and writer.

She is editor-in-chief of The Art Section.

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