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SYLVIE FLEURY / Double Positive

SYLVIE FLEURY / Double Positive

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Sylvie Fleury
Double Positive  2022
Softcover with plastic outer-cover, 88 pages
22 x 26cm
JRP Editions, CH

Published on the occasion of Sylvie Fleury’s Double Positive exhibition at the Bechtler Stiftung in Zurich (October 2022–March 2023), this book offers an unprecedented insight into the artist’s 1990s fashion collection, which she confronts with Walter de Maria’s monumental The 2000 Sculpture (1992). Eccentric avant-garde garments created by Thierry Mugler, Vivienne Westwood, and Jean Paul Gaultier have been shot for this publication through the museum window in front of one of the iconic works of Minimal art on permanent display at this institution. These fruitful yet challenging mises-en-scène are highly representative of Fleury’s practice in which accumulated relics of consumerism are transformed into historical objects worthy of display in the art world.

As the exhibition curators state, “this site of contemplation is currently confronted with a provocative and unsettling encounter: Fleury’s installation of numerous garment racks containing her entire wardrobe from the past three decades.” They continue: “In her installation, Fleury debunks the tenets of the predominantly male art establishment with inimitable verve. Seen through the lens of Minimal art, the traces of a personal biography become a vulnerable act of self-exposure. Her title alludes to Michael Heizer’s Double Negative from 1969: land art consisting of two enormous trenches dug into the Nevada desert. Heizer’s work is about the displacement of material and the resulting negative space; de Maria’s large-scale installation is similarly overwhelming in volume, covering 500 square meters of museum space with standardized plaster rods. Fleury’s Double Positive with numerous racks of identical generic black garment bags aesthetically mirrors the neighboring The 2000 Sculpture.”

Conceived as a fashion look book, featuring silhouettes styled by Ursina Gysi, photographs by Marc Asekhame, and annotations by fashion historian Matthew Linde, this publication takes us back to Fleury’s beginnings as an artist, recalling her landmark early 1990s artworks: unopened shopping bags filled with freshly acquired luxury products displayed as readymade sculpture.

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