November 24, 2021

Marion Baruch

Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig

Marion Baruch, Endless going trying to say, 2020. Installation view, Magasin des horizons, Centre National d'Art et cultures Grenoble, 2020. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Noah Stolz.

Marion Baruch, AG Fronzoni, Contenitore-Ambiente, 1969. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Gianni Berengo Gardin.

Marion Baruch, Une chambre vide, 2009. Installation view, 32 Rue Sorbier, Paris. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Corinne Vigne-Loup.

View of Rétrospective Marion Baruch, Magasin des horizons, Centre National d'Art et cultures Grenoble, 2020. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Noah Stolz.

Marion Baruch + AG Fronzoni, “Abito-Contenitore”, c. 1969, courtesy the artist, photo: Gianni Berengo Gardin

NAME DIFFUSION, NAME DIFFUSION News, 1993. Installation view, Groninger Museum, Groningen, 1993. Courtesy the artist.

Curated by Ilse Lafer and Noah Stolz

The exhibition Marion Baruch: DÉCALAGE (GAP) at the gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig is the first comprehensive presentation of the artistic practice of the Jewish-Romanian artist Marion Baruch to the German-speaking world. The work of the now 92-year-old artist, who lives in Italy, is characterized by deviations as well as repeated aesthetic shifts and, thanks to the efforts of Noah Stolz (Baruch's curator and collaborator), has been known to an international audience for a few years now. The exhibition focuses on her most recent sculptures—made from textile waste from the prêt-à-porter industry—and contextualizes them through her early design objects as well as through the participatory projects of the 2000s, in which feminism and migration emerge as central and recurring themes against the backdrop of "hospitality."

With the concept of "décalage" the exhibition not only explores the artist's practice, which has become a method, of interrupting, deviating from, or displacing a male-dominated avant-garde artistic practice along the lines of the "negative capability” in women's art, which was postulated by Anne-Marie Sauzeau-Boetti (1975). Moreover, the gaps and loose ends that emerge in the process are of interest, allowing Baruch's large archive of factual events and subjective narratives to be woven into assemblies open to interpretation, such as the artist's early collaboration with the Italian design icon Dino Gavina and the "non-object objects" she developed for this purpose, the founding of her (art market critical) company NAME DIFFUSION, which mainly produced art as a promotional gift in the context of exhibitions, or the many events and projects that the artist realized in collaboration with illegal migrants (sans papiers) in real and virtual space—still under the pseudonym NAME DIFFUSION—during her years in Paris (1998-2011).

Tying these loose ends together works best when Baruch's recent "ready-made" textile sculptures expand cobweb-like, sometimes like "bodies of weight" (Judith Butler), sometimes like eviscerated patterns, becoming spatial and at the same time "readable" signs, in order to connect tentacularly with the historical reference space of her practice, oscillating between free and commercial art, between object production and performative or participatory action.

The exhibition aims to show that the artist's aesthetically heterogeneous oeuvre is based on the "idea of form as a container" or “dwelling”, which begins in the late 1960s with body-related works such as Abito-Contenitore (dress container) or Contenitore-Ambiente (environmental container) and continues in a less direct and more metaphorical way in the form of the label NAME DIFFUSION as an open and changing constellation of protagonists. This refers to Marion Baruch's play with form—a literally performative, highly inviting play that is based on the idea of reacting situationally to an "outside" by means of constantly emerging network structures with primarily female-read persons, tangible material, and language, in order to initiate events that (presently as well as in the past) make art- and socio-politically relevant “voids” their subject.

Marion Baruch was born in 1929 in Hungarian-speaking Timisoara, Romania. In 1948 she began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, moved then to Jerusalem and studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design until 1954 and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome until 1957. She lives and works in Gallarte (Italy).

The exhibition has been realized with the kind support of Dana Diminescu.

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