Alix Marie - ADYTA
16 February – 26 MArch 2018
Ratinger TorMaximilian-Weyhe-Allee40213 Düsseldorf
Alix Marie – ADYTA16/02 – 23/03 2018
After winning the 2017 Portfolio Review Award, Alix Marie presents her solo exhibition ADYTA as part of the Dusseldorf Photo Weekend 2018. Displayed across two rooms at Ratinger Tor, ADYTA features two distinct new installations by the artist, The Pythia (2018) and Heracles (2018), both inspired by Greek mythology and created during her recent two-month residency at Void in Athens. Marie’s installations embrace both photography and sculpture in innovative and sophisticated constellations. They are explorations into her personal involvement with and critical inquiry of the body, challenging notions of its cultural representations and appropriations.
Presented in the first room, Marie’s The Pythia (2018) is an installation comprising a photographic self-portrait of the artist printed on Perspex and a water fountain incorporating mist and models of snakes. The title, The Pythia, refers to the high priestess of Delphi. The priestess was also the oracle, a powerful prophetic figure who entered a trance-like state after breathing in natural gases that seeped out of the ground. In The Pythia, the machine-made mist recalls this inspirational gas. The snakes engage with the symbolism of the Pythia, a word that is etymologically derived from the same root as python. Marie’s work draws particularly on mythological readings of the snakes being linked to pubic hair and a fear of female genitalia.Marie’s Heracles (2018), shown in the second room, stems from her interest in exploring and questioning the construction of gender. Having worked on the representation and perception of femininity previously, Marie has more recently been researching and investigating masculinity, looking at both biological and socially defined factors of its construct. Muscularity is considered a particular attribute of virility, which led Marie to research further into bodybuilding. With her series Flex (2017), she employs cropped images of male bodybuilders’ arms taken from FLEX magazine and uses the dye sublimation printing technique to create unique three-dimensional photographic sculptures resembling cushions. Evolving from this earlier series, her new installation Heracles features twelve of these cushion-like objects individually displayed on rotary barbecues, continuously turning on themselves and evoking the Greek tradition of rotisserie grilling, three of them shown here. Both installations critically examine reductive readings of femininity and masculinity and question ideas of gender. The exhibition raises a dialectic that is latent in history but often held back by conventions that suppress and control the body. At a time when sexual liberation often runs parallel to its opposite, Marie reflects on the possibilities of re-appropriating one’s body.For further information and press enquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org