Critics’ Picks

Performance view, 2005.


Clarina Bezzola

Galerie Antje Wachs
Charlottenstraße 3
November 4–December 17

Swiss artist Clarina Bezzola's impressive first European solo show, “Inside Out,” includes drawings, photographs, and mounds of plush “toys” extracted from a large grey suit the artist wore while performing at the exhibition's opening reception. Strewn about the gallery floor and hanging haphazardly from the walls, Bezzola's beings resemble pillows, offbeat bodily organs, or extras from a Hayao Miyazaki film. Variously cheeky, sinister, and prurient, her chimerical fabric sculptures and performative purging could serve as an allegory of personal liberation—the “freeing” of the creative self from the accumulation of life's chafes. To risk catachresis, the installation literalizes the “putting away of childish things” while simultaneously advocating a return to childlike innocence. But at what expense have these beings been thrust from the suit that harbored them? Taking another point of view, the gallery stomachs a result not unlike Pandora's opened box, wherein the nocuous aftermath is left behind to fester while the culprit splits for higher ground. Surreal and multivalent, Bezzola's work makes palpable both the spirit of juvenility and the consequences of civilization.