Lili Reynaud Dewar – Some Objects Blackened and a Body Too – Mary Mary Gallery – Friday 9th December 2011

This is Lili Reynaud Dewar’s first show to focus on herself, she usually focuses on her family or with a series of performers.

The show is meant to play on the expected whiteness of certain materials, polystyrene, plater and ceramics. She also used burnt plinths to exhibit her work. This asks the viewer to question how exhibits are usually shown. plinths are commonly white and even if they are black they are perfectly painted whereas the burnt plinths are imperfect so could seem confusing to the observer.

Dewar also looks at the functionality of her work and the relation to the human body. The fact she has a exhibited a sink but without any taps just as a ceramic shell renders the sink useless, so its no able to work in its previous function. Similarly there is a pile of completely clean white A4 paper, this invites the observer to also question its functionality and how simple and beautiful it can look particularly against the burnt plinth. In terms of her body the exhibition features numerous casts of her hands and arms. Moreover in the projections Dewar dances naked completely painted black making the viewer objectify her body.

The only colour in the artwork on display is the closed curtains the artist has placed over the windows. These consist of large graphic prints in almost tribal tones of ochre, green and deep red. The fact that the curtains are closed also makes the viewer question  the idea of privacy in a gallery space. The actually gallery is very small and requires the viewer to be buzzed in so makes it seem more private. Dewar also shows her entire body in the show so the fact the show is more private, emphasised by the closed curtains makes the whole idea seem more seedy.

In conclusion I really enjoyed this show, and although the work was not always aesthetically pleasing or interesting the concepts and presentation was incredibly well thought through and demonstrated a lot of intelligent ideas and engaged in an ongoing debate of what contemporary art should be.

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