Critics’ Picks

View of “Private Viewing,” 2019.


Sofia Duchovny

Kunstverein Göttingen
Gotmarstraße 1
January 19–March 10

In her first institutional solo exhibition, titled “Private Viewing,” Sofia Duchovny arrays a series of sculptures that give form to the imaginary between the private space of production and the public site of presentation. Components from camping tents have been used to construct works that, like their origins, are easily plugged in and transported. The resulting compositions not only suggest fauna but are, in fact, quasi-bodies. In Fly With Me (all works 2018), poles that nearly reach the ceiling are webbed with tulle, leather, and lace, the elements’ impressive materiality coming together to form a ballerina butterfly. In Baby Macho’s Spirit Complexx, an oversize structure evocative of a jellyfish is embroidered at its core with spider webs. Such details, as fine and delicate as tattoos on skin, are echoed in Untitled, a star-shaped torso with fabric wings that have been stitched with mini-bedroom scenes of pillows and bunched-up sheets.

For the “Heart shaped box” series of watercolors on canvas, Duchovny stacks the titular boxes like New York City apartments. One can see dogs lying listlessly in bed in Heart shaped box (closed) and manicured human feet peeking out of the covers in Heart shaped box (stung). Through the pictures’ jarring scale and washed out, angsty pink and blue pastels, Duchovny creates a surreal but no less humorous dramaturgy. Both fragile and transparent, the uncanny two- and three-dimensional environments of “Private Viewing” provide little protection for their subjects, rendering them easy prey for voyeurs.

Translated from German by Hiji Nam.