about the exhibition
January 14–April 02, 2000about the artists
Carlos Amorales was born in 1970 in Mexico and currently resides in Amsterdam. His work in performance and video has been included in solo and group shows in Europe and Mexico, including Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland; Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and the Museo de Arte Carillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico. In 2000, his work will be included in inSITE Tijuana/San Diego and the exhibition, Let’s Entertain, at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.
Vanessa Beecroft was born in 1969 in Italy and currently lives and works in New York. She has orchestrated her signature performances at venues internationally, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; and the Moderna Musset, Stockholm, Sweden. Her work was included in the SITE Santa Fe Biennial Exhibition (1997) and the 1997 Venice Biennial.
Gillian Wearing, born in 1963 in Birmingham, England, lives and works in London. Her video and photographic work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and the U.S., including the 1995 Venice Biennial, Italy; Brilliant! New Art from London, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and Sensation, currently at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY. In 1997 she was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize from the Tate Gallery in London.
about the exhibition
Makeshift presents video works by three leading international artists: Carlos Amorales, Vanessa Beecroft and Gillian Wearing. Curated by Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, a graduate student at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, the exhibition highlights the performative aspects of contemporary video art.
Makeshift investigates the work of three artists who have reflected on the notion of personal interaction within existing social frameworks. The works in the exhibition examine the role of performance in our everyday lives—how our actions and behaviors are predetermined by our environments.
Carlos Amorales has created a fictional character, a wrestler, who wears a mask designed as the artists’ own portrait. In Amorales Interim (1997), an actor, wearing this mask, performs a set of conditioned and planned scenarios, displacing the artist’s narrative and the contexts, function and audience of Mexican wrestling.
Vanessa Beecroft uses actors bodies as live, standing statues for her performances. Models almost identical in appearance are motionless and mute for hours. In Piano Americano (1996), models are united (or “branded”) by their uniforms of wigs, high heels, brassieres and pantyhose, yet camouflaged by the muted colors and modular arrangement of their bodies in space.
In contrast with Amorales and Beecroft’s direction of actors, Gillian Wearing encourages the participants to “be themselves.” In Confess All on Video. Don’t worry, you will be in disguise. Intrigued? Call Gillian (1994), the artist placed an ad in a popular British magazine to attract the participants in her project. The respondents were disguised and then videotaped while recounting their innermost secrets. Referencing religious confessionals, therapy sessions and American talk shows, Wearing’s piece blurs the line between personal text and public performance.