Caroline Russell

Laure Genillard

Exhibitions don’t really begin and end at the gallery; for Caroline Russell, whose interest in display began in 1987, the invitation card plays a significant role in setting up the spectator. While the sophisticated contemporary-art audience expects to be titillated through the mail slot, Russell’s use of a grammatically incoherent excerpt from a commercial-supplier-of-display-paraphernalia catalogue is so cannily like the experience of the show itself as to be virtually ekphrastic: “Bumper Strip has vertical ribs along the entire length of the strip reducing surface contact by passing traffic, giving less drag and abrasion resulting in a cleaner, clear see-through surface for greater safety—much longer.”

If you want to wrestle with the conventions of display, then you must be prepared to explore the depths of disorientation; Russell masterfully demonstrates this in Display 44, 1992, which

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