Mar 21st – May 2nd, 2009
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
Due to his fantastic figurations made with ink and watercolour in muted chromaticity the in New York based Canadian from Winnipeg gained an international level of awareness and attended numerous exhibitions in North America and Europe.
In the last years the Dioramas – grotesque sequences of creatures from history and legend – expanded into the three dimensional space and experience in current drawings, collages, paintings, sculpture and film a new transformation at Sies + Höke. His creatures – among them old acquaintances like the bat, people in bear or bird costumes, Pinocchio or dancing femme fatales – process as living pictures of dreams and nightmares over the paper and frame away into space, time and fantasy. The own artistic development is integrated into the round dance of human history, death and reincarnation. The artist freed himself from some of his main charakters by letting them get executed by soldiers in the picture.
Since Dzama changed his place of residence from the remote Winnipeg to the metropolis New York his Ghosts that he had summon grow more and more to compacted populations and refer to American history and present politics more often. Noticeable prominent in his youngest works is the theme of war and the stereotype of the terrorist: Uniformed, the Kalaschnikow at hand, sometimes male and sometimes female, hooded or with Balaclavas masked they are in their emblematic culmination reminiscent of Al Qaida warriors as well as victims of torture from Abu Ghraib or Guantánamo. In Marcel Dzamas current film they line up in droves to fight and only find together in a danse macabre after their death. The war in Dzamas apocalyptic scenarios is less holy than a general historic phenomenon and the mistakes of the past repeat it selves cross-generational into the point of the present day. The garment of faith is thereby replaceable and the orchestration of fear by religion, government and media as a phantasmagorical spawn alarmingly polymorphic.
A limited work box will be released with the exhibition by Marcel Dzama that will contain a collection of unique pieces and film material together with the exhibition catalogue. The box is designed in reference to Marcel Duchamps Boîte en valise (1935-1941) as a portable folding museum. An interlaced system of reference en miniature on which the commentary on Duchamp from Walter Arnsberg can be assigned: „It is a kind of autobiography in a performance of marionettes. You have become the puppeteer of your past.”