The Seer and the Seen
Diana de Rosa
Franz von Stuck
Holy Madonna or provocative whore - for a long time the predominant images of femininity that appeared in art. The American artist Trulee Hall also picked it up in her video work Two Tongues Duel the Corn Whores, An Opera, which can be seen in the context of this exhibition.
The opera - with a beatboxer as the narrator's voice - tells of the tense duel of the two clashing images of femininity, the Madonna and the whore. The struggle takes place in masturbation, striptease, domestic martyrdom, and a ritual of flawless conception. In the narrator's monological chant, the phrase The Seer and the Seen is used, giving the title of the current exhibition.
Because Hall is not only concerned with depicting gender and sexuality, she is also concerned with the relationship between subject and object, between what is seen and what is seen. Who are the observers, who are the observers? Is seeing an aesthetic or a moral judgment - or even a voyeuristic act?
Hall works with multimedia; she often stages her sculptures, paintings and videos in rooms that are reminiscent of theatrical backdrops. In her video works, live recordings, computer animations and stop-motion films, which are created with the help of clay figures, come together. In this way, she blurs the boundaries between the real and the fictitious.
The works of the 45-year-old artist have already been exhibited at the FRIEZE art fair in Los Angeles. The Zabludowicz Collection in London dedicated a solo exhibition to her in 2020, during which she produced the opera together with her. Villa Schöningen is now showing its works in Germany for the first time.
The characters in Hall's works emancipate themselves from their role as objects that only exist to be seen. This becomes all the more clear in the context of the old masters, with whom Hall's works are contrasted in the current exhibition. While the apple bite leads to ruin in Albrecht Dürer's Fall, Trulee Hall's interpretation of Eva already has the second apple ready for enjoyable consumption.
Her figures rise above the social gaze assigned to them, her works offer new patterns of interpretation for what has been seen, for what has been seen. In her pictorial worlds, the relationship between lakes and lakes is not a violent one, but rather unfolds an emancipating potential.