Cult painter Rita Ackermann and seminal director Harmony Korine share a love of irreverent, mischievous beauty. As such the first exhibition of their collaborative work Shadow Fux is just that: provocative, weird and stunning.
Korine’s recent film Trash Humpers – an eerie yet comedic nightmare vision – provides the point of departure. Starting with large-scale stills from the film, in which the characters wear wrinkled jelly-like masks that make them look like geriatrics, they used a call-and-response method to build up layers of collage and paint. Accompanying these ‘cut-and-paste’ works, projections of two of Korine’s films set the scene.
The result, which appears to be a succession of arbitrary scribblings reminiscent of childish colouring-in sessions, in fact speaks of the nature of collaboration and co-existence. Characters are plastered one over the other like some kind of mutant lab experiment: the cracks and joins are still visible.
Ultimately their work is a mixed media mess, a jumble, in which fragmented narratives coalesce to form jarring yet beguiling scenes. But it’s this dissonance that is most successful and resonates most deeply. Catch it quick at New York’s Swiss Institute before it is gone.
Shadow Fux is at the Swiss Institute, New York until 23rd January 2011