cologne

Rosemarie Trockel

Museum Ludwig, Cologne

IN A TYPICALLY WRY, feminist twist on the trauma of a midcareer retrospective, Rosemarie Trockel named her current exhibition at the Ludwig Museum “Post-Menopause.” Or rather, so she renamed it: Advance publicity referred to the show simply as “Menopause” and so do the accompanying catalogue texts, suggesting an eleventh-hour switch as the book’s cover and exhibition poster went to press. Retrospectives, of course, merely exaggerate the post hoc condition of all exhibitions—a morbid state refused by Ed Ruscha, who had the words “I Don’t Want No Retro Spective” embossed on the catalogue of his 1982 survey. Yet Trockel neatly hexes the curse, “posting” an alternative periodization of her oeuvre and calling for both a metaphysical and embodied reading of her presumably aging body—of work. Named after her wool picture Menopause (completed in 2005, the year of the exhibition’s opening) and

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