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Charlemagne Palestine

Galerie Damasquine

Charlemagne Palestine is a pioneer of experimental and minimalist music (with recent discs on the Alga Marghen and Barooni labels) as well as video art. But he is also known for his sculptural détournement of stuffed animals. This last obsession has led some—particularly young artists enamored of electronic music—to believe that he is the unjustly overlooked inspiration for the stuffed-animal work of one Mike Kelley. But to emphasize the connection would be to misunderstand Kelley’s intellectualism as much as the obsession that haunts Palestine; above all it would be to ignore the quasi universality of the material itself. For Kelley, stuffed animals are the equivalent of symptoms; for Palestine, they are extensions of himself, incarnations of his “spirituality.”

Paradoxically, it is probably the success of Kelley’s work that has led to Palestine’s being reconsidered today—so

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