Vanessa Beecroft's performance VB64 at Deitch Gallery, Long Island City


I attended the Vanessa Beecroft performance VB64 at Deitch Projects Gallery in Long Island this March.


I like her work, because it is so ambivalent to me.




Ususally a Beecroft performance arises a lot of press attention ahead of it. Then there are many people and you very often have to stand in line in order to see it. Finally you are there.


And then? Excitement? No, almost always confusion.


There is always a strange atmosphere.


There are strict rules by the artist more or less enforced by gallery staff:


  • Dont’t go closer than this to the performance
  • Don’t take photos
  • Don’t talk to the models



Also the models have strict rules how to behave in their rols. In this case:


  • Don’t move to much
  • Don’t talk
  • Don' t interact with the audience



(C) Vanessa Beecroft courtesy Deitch Gallery

At VB64 the models all were body-painted in the same white like the gesso-plaster sculptures of themselves. So they were hard to distinguish from the sculptures at first sight.



The contradiction between dead and alive, model and object is additionally reinforced by coffin-like podest the sculptures and models are lying on.



The fact that also some of the models are lying on these podests arises also the question of object and sculpture.


In her early performances she was also focusing on her personal problem of bulimia and the (fashion) society's idea of female beauty: As in performance VB20 of 1996. In contrary to that she now uses also more mature models with a not so perfect body.


The whole assemblage refers strongly to her Italian heritage of classic sculptures. She wonderfully mixes the classic techniques of sculpture, painting, performance, tableux vivants, photo and video to something new. Something in between. This is exactly why her work is so exciting to me.



In the first room there are only white sculptures and models painted white like the sculptures.



Then there is a second room with a number of black sculptures, but without any live models. This reminds me on the performance VB61 at the 2007 Venice Biennial about her visit in the genocide area of Darfour.



I think it is good, that she focuses now more on political and art historical issues, rather than the (to) close cooperation with the fashion industry like L. V. In my opinion that went to far into advertising rather than art.


by UGL.


Share your opinion with us!


Shannon, 15-04-09 22:32
Dear U.G.,

I absolutely disagree to your point of view:

Beecroft's art is a provocation to all women!

Presenting naked women in front of dressed so called art lovers is a joke.

Shame on you!
Jules, 16-04-09 13:29
@ Shannon:

Would you also complain about naked womean als models for Roman sculptures?!

I think Beecroft does great art.

I would suggest you rethink your all to traditional feminist position!

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