130114: Kunstraum Lakeside: LA Raeven – Ideal Individuals

Kunstraum Lakeside LA Raeven – Ideal Individuals 29.11.2013 – 17.01.2014 Pathology without pathos By Daniela Gregori You almost don't want to listen: "Liesbeth...! Liesbeth...!" echoes incessantly and desperately through empty corridors and stairwells. A young woman with hip problems and on crutches, and dressed in hospital garb, drags herself painfully along through Kafkaesque escape routes. The supplications become ever more emphatic, but the person being called, the elegantly dressed likeness of the patient, does not appear to react, she withdraws, uses an elevator. The nightmarish sequence again mirrors as some of the films, performances and actions of the sisters, Liesbeth und Angelique Raeven, the often difficult, symbiotic relationship between identical twins. One exists in two bodies, without the other one feels incomplete and incapable of leading normal existence. In addition, the two Dutch girls born in 1971, who operate quasi as one under the name L.A. Raeven, are marked by eating disorders, and in the end, weigh together as much as one person. Both, life as a twin and life with anorexia is thematised in their work. Within the semester theme of "controlled body", the Klagenfurt Kunstsraum Lakeside dedicates a presentation to both artists with "Ideal Individuals". What curious casting is to be seen here. Via internet, the local press advertises for: women 1.70m in height, flat-breasted, with staggering body measurements, at least with one physical handicap, loss of hair and unusual eating and drinking habits – altogether characteristics corresponding to those of the two Dutch artists, Liesbeth und Angelique Raeven. For her "Ideal Army", L.A.Raeven is looking for the likes of herself and every single one, dressed in uniform underwear, surveyed in a documented video, is selected and sent to wait in a bare room. All of this is the storyline. A procedure as unspectacular as it is unglamorous and yet there doesn't seem to be a shortage of women or of furious critics. When the advertisement entitled "Ideal Individual" appeared in the English Guardian over a decade ago, one hesitated to publish it. It was considered to be contrary to any equality laws. All the same, the exhibiting institution could not complain about a lack of interested persons or visitors. One can't claim that L.A.Raeven accuse, criticise or analyse with their absolutely pathos-free works. They present things for disposal and discussion, above all things their emaciated bodies. The measurements, the classification and selection, the fastidious apportioning and control of the nutriments and their intake may seem, amongst other, shocking. "This is not me" – the so-titled shop window beauty with the ideal measurements then turns out to be not quite so perfect and presents her infirmity at a second glance: the spine is bent, one hip has to be pinned like Angelique’s, who, in the postoperative dreams, looks continuously for her sister in the empty corridors on the clinic: "Liesbeth...! Liesbeth...!" In reality, a certain suppression mechanism belongs to the clinical picture in the context of the sufferers, and possibly, it's easier to have a look and to listen in the artistic context. Kunstraum Lakeside 9020 Klagenfurt, Lakeside B01 Tel: +43-463-22 88 22 11 Fax: +43-463-22 88 22 10 http://www.lakeside-kunstraum.at

Kunstraum Lakeside
9020 Klagenfurt, Lakeside B01
Tel: +43-463-22 88 22 11, Fax: +43-463-22 88 22 10
Email: office@lakeside-kunstraum.at

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