copenhagen

View of “Kristine Kemp,” 2012. From left: Dreaming of a Nap in the Afternoon, 1996/2012; [re-in-kar-nayt], 2012.

Kristine Kemp

Years

View of “Kristine Kemp,” 2012. From left: Dreaming of a Nap in the Afternoon, 1996/2012; [re-in-kar-nayt], 2012.

In his 1968 essay “Surrealism as a World of Signs,” Roger Caillois denounced “vacant metaphor” in the work of the most prominent Surrealists. Listing a repertoire of all-too-expected references, such as Yves Tanguy’s “giant amoebas,” de Chirico’s “dressmaker’s dummies,” and Dalí’s assorted obsessional motifs, he took Surrealism to task for its poetic looseness and indulgence in personal simulacra. Lord only knows what Caillois would have thought of the Young British Artists’ facile samplings of the movement in the 1990s, or of the portrayal in Documenta 13 of Dalí as a political painter and proponent of exchange between art and science.

The Surrealist aesthetic was revisited yet again, more productively, in Kristine Kemp’s solo show “[re-in-kar-nayt].”Curated by David Hilmer Rex, the exhibition consisted of five works installed in a delicate conceptual balance—two black-and-white

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