Le double / The Double
Jan 23 – Feb 12, 2012
“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”
Galerie d’Este is proud to present a group exhibition of works by artists exploring the powerful image of The Double. Duality seems to help us understand ourselves at the most fundamental level: recognition of the self in a mirror is the defining quality of sentience, and psychoanalytic theory depends on the perceived conflict between selves. We identify with that which resembles us and as viewers, we hope to recognize something of ourselves when we look at a work of art. But literature is full of nightmarish duplicates: ghosts, doppelgangers and evil twins haunt us with the threat of our other selves somehow coming to life, escaping or revealing themselves to others. It is the terror of an unflattering portrait, and it exerts a powerful hold on art.
Angela Grossmann’s assemblage pieces suggest something dark in the conspiratorial simpatico that exists between young girls, transforming a friend into an echo. Dylan Noble’s strange double portrait of a masked man being studied by his birdlike doppelganger is literal and theatrical all at once. Aislinn Leggett creates contemporary spirit photography in which the same figure or group is repeated rhythmically in arresting, ghostly arrangements, while there is nothing ambiguous about Annie Baillargeon’s frenetic patterns of twisting figures and fantastic props. Jean-Pierre Ruel is known for his paintings of confrontations between figures, but here presents paintings of lone figures contemplating duality in nature. Finally, the almost Brechtian drawings of Michelle Furlong depict figures physically grappling with each other, their faces covered.