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17 Mar 2009

Rut Blees Luxemburg at UNION Gallery

© Rut Blees Luxemburg
Schlachthof/Abattoir, 2008
Framed C-print
120 x 155 cm



Private View: 20/3/09 6-9pm
Closing date: 26/4/09

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Union Gallery is delighted to present Orificity, a new body of work by London-based artist Rut Blees Luxemburg.

Orificity forms a study of the erosion – and the tenacity – of systems and idols, hinting at the latent conditions in which new ones might emerge. These photographs were made over the past two years, and their alignment now draws out new associations and elucidates the original prescience of the images.

In Schlachthof we see the gates of an abattoir at night: a stone bull's head keeps watch over its kindred as they are ushered to their slaughter. The statue evokes the biblical Golden Calf and also suggests a memento mori for the bull economy.

Blees Luxemburg's engagement with iconoclasm has taken her to churches in England and France, where she photographed icons vandalised during the last periods of the Bildersturm – violence against the image. A statue of a saint has been hacked away with intense fervour, except for one forgotten detail: a golden lock of hair, which Blees Luxemburg isolates in her almost-abstract photograph. In another work, made in Normandy, in the hollow of a cut-off head, we can't help but hallucinate the features of a new face. Something always lingers after apparent destruction, something awaiting invention and reconstitution.

The photograph titled Orificity is of a porous wall carved away over time by the wind and the sea. Now it appears to be regenerating into an organic structure, full of fecund holes. The large still life Keller is of a shallow wooden tub in a harbour, filled with stagnant water and empty bottles. It could be the long-forgotten remains of a gargantuan party. But perhaps this fetid cesspool though is at the same time a fertile primordial soup, which might turn out to be the birthing-pool of a new iconography.

The works from the Orificity series are part of Commonsensual, a new book by Rut Blees Luxemburg published by Black Dog. Commonsensual is the first comprehensive survey of the artists work and includes texts by Regis Durand, Douglas Park and Alexander García Düttmann.

Rut Blees Luxemburg was born in Germany. Her work has been included in key publications and exhibitions on contemporary photography and art. In 2008 she exhibited her series FAUST 2 as part of Images d'un Renouvellement Urbain, Le Point du Jour, Cherbourg, France and collaborated with TEUFELSgroup, part of 'The Rest of Now', Manifesta 7, Bolzano/Bozen. She also made the public art installation Piccadilly's Peccadilloes for Heathrow Terminal 4 commissioned by Art on the Underground. In 2009 her work will be included in Auto, Sueno y Materia at Laboral, Gijon and Madrid and there will be a solo show of her new work STATIONS at the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Caen, France.