Critics’ Picks

Kasia Fudakowski, Identititisch, 2013, wood veneer, mutiplex, steel, linen, sand, 2 5/8 x 9 1/2 x 5 1/8'.


“An Ear, Severed, Listens”

Ritterstrasse 2A
February 18–April 8

In the gallery’s first exhibition since the partnering of Jennifer Chert and Florian Lüdde, this poetic and comedic show reflects on the human body. Featuring work by ten artists, “An Ear, Severed, Listens” also smartly takes into account the viewer’s physical experience in an unorthodox space that includes a small attic room and a basement accessed via a steep ladder.

A standout work on the ground floor is Kasia Fudakowski’s Identititisch, 2013, consisting of two long wooden strips on tall legs with rollers. The surfaces are inlaid with knots and burls from various other wood pieces and arranged to resemble facial features, while the perpendicular tables can be slid up and down to form different combinations, as if making a game of the notion of a fixed identity. Along the lines of this theme of shape-shifting and ambiguity, Emma Hart’s “The Private Eyes” series, 2014, aligns three minimal wall-mounted figures holding clipboards, the contents of which can only be glimpsed in mirror finish eyes above. To see this work, one has to pass through two curtains by Zora Mann (Cosmophagy, 2015) made of recycled plastic flip-flops strung together in the pattern of an eye.

The tips of three giant ceramic fingers with brightly lacquered nails jut from the floor in the attic. This installation by Vanessa Safavi, “Reasons and Disguises,” 2016, is surrounded on all sides by Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano’s wallpaper installation featuring the same tiny sketch on repeat: a two-ended penis with legs running in opposite directions. Rather than undermining earnest engagement with the works, this single joke, with the somewhat grandiose title The Selfie and the Self, 2016, offers a brief moment of levity that leaves gravity to the rest.