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Rope Mirror

14/05 2011 – 16/07 2011


Mendes Wood DM is extremely pleased to present New York based artist Jen DeNike’s first solo show in Brazil entitled Rope Mirror. The exhibition will feature three new works – an on-site sculptural installation, a series of photographic C-prints, and a live sculptural performance piece. 

Rope Mirror is inspired by a little known work by Gordon Matta-Clark from 1969 when he was an architecture student at Cornell. Gordon hired a crew of teenage boys from the community to meet with him at night in a cemetery. Gordon and these boys then made an installation with ropes that generated an impromptu network of gravestone spires, tracing a random path from spire to spire and looping the ropes around the spires to create a sculptural network of ropes in order to communicate with the dead.

At a cemetery in São Paulo, DeNike will recreate the installation. The piece will then be transported and re-installed as a hovering and suspended labyrinthine sculpture at Mendes Wood. A series of minimalistic black and white photographs of elegant light renderings from mirrors, will be hung under the network of ropes. 

Finally, a choreographed performance with five young Brazilian men, five mirrors, and a tightrope walker will perform live at the opening reception on May 14th. The performers’ movements will emerge as an intervention, a hypnotism, a series of gestures inspired by various magic rituals the artist performs daily. The mirrors used in the performance oscillate between blank canvases and moving fragments of the spectators present, merging the architecture of the space and the gestures of its inhabitants into a cinematic montage of divination. 

In 2010, DeNike directed Scrying: A Ballet in 3 Acts, shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Julia Stoschek Collection in Dusseldorf, followed by the Scrying Trilogy, a series of video, performance, and sculptural works. Scrying is an act of divination through spiritual visions achieved by protracted gazing at opaque surfaces, such as water, crystals or a mirror. The work Rope Mirror reflects DeNike’s continued interest and use of ritualized magic as art.

Jen DeNike (b. 1971, Norwalk, Connecticut) received her MFA from Bard College in 2002. DeNike has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe including; Museum of Modern Art, New York; KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; MOMA/PSI, New York; Julia Stoschek Collection, Brooklyn Museum; CCS Hessel Museum; EMPAC, Performa Biennial 2009; Experimenta Biennial Australia 2009; Tensta Konsthall, Sweden; CAHM Houston; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Cobra Museum, The Netherlands; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; MACRO, Rome; Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart.

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