Empty Rooms Full of Love (Part Two) Exhibition with Cathy Josefowitz
FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (FR)

Lock and Key (2020) acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200cm
Inflated Self (2020) acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200cm
Love Bubbles (2020) acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200cm
Fur Playroom (2020) acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200cm
The cut out ass fitted fine (I)(2018) acrylic paint & pencil on paper, 28.5 x 38cm. Collection FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
Your hair, the sky (2017) acrylic paint & pencil on paper, 28.5 x 38cm. Collection FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
Falling out of us (2017) acrylic paint & pencil on paper, 28.5 x 38cm. Collection FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
The space inside your mouth is entirely yours, except when it’s mine (I) (2017) acrylic & pencil on paper, 28.5 x 38cm. Collection FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
Watching, pissing, arousing for both (I) (2017) acrylic & pencil on paper, 28.5 x 38cm. Collection FRAC Champagne-Ardenne
'If They be Two' (2018) 2-channel video installation co-authored with Kim Coleman
'If They be Two' (2018) 2-channel video installation co-authored with Kim Coleman
'If They be Two' (2018) 2-channel video installation co-authored with Kim Coleman
(L-R) Dreaming Head, Lonely Mouth, Leg on Bed (2020). Watercolour on Arches cotton paper, 38 x 28cm

19 May – 22 August 2021

Curated by Marie Griffay and Bettina Moriceau Maillard

Features work co-authored with Kim Coleman

‘The FRAC Champagne-Ardenne is pleased to present the first institutional exhibition in France of Swiss artist Cathy Josefowitz (1956, New York – 2014, Geneva) and English artist Susie Green (b. 1979). Empty rooms full of love orchestrates the unprecedented encounter between two bodies of work that share an affinity of medium— painting, drawing, collage, performance, music— both exploring themes such as otherness and disguise. In both works, the use of theatrical devices is part of questioning relationships to the body, itself engaged in the intimate journey of a quest for self. This crossing of paths highlights two powerful and sensitive approaches focusing on the emancipation of the body through the gaze of two generations of female artists.

The first part of the exhibition, inhabited by characters dressed up, amplified, and decorated by the artists and standing for avatars of themselves, plunges the viewer at the heart of a game of gazes. It takes the form of a theatre stage where acrobats, puppets, and figures inspired by Commedia dell’ arte characters, dance, run, and slide along the floor. While the register is happy, certain characters convey a sense of melancholy: “The aim is to free oneself, thanks to a simple game of appearances that one plays or goes along with, thereby allowing a hidden or bridled part of the self to be expressed.” (1)

In the second part of the exhibition, the physical relationship is lived as a spiritual experience that allows one to find oneself. A shift thus occurs, a transformation of the being, which can be seen in the work of both artists. Cathy Josefowitz’s paintings and notebooks on the Kamasutra and the erotic paintings and drawings by Susie Green give way to an abstract form of representation. In Green’s work, the bodies have evaporated, transformed into energy through sexual encounters, while Cathy Josefowitz’s colored skies depict the metamorphosis of thoughts into emotions. The end of this second chapter takes us into ecstasy with a hypnotic video installation co-authored by Kim Coleman and Susie Green

Empty rooms full of love is an invitation to allow oneself to be permeated with the female gaze, that which describes a feminine experience of the world. What does it mean to inhabit a body, to experience it, and go beyond it? Do the empty rooms full of love (2) refer to interior spaces, bodies, or to the museum space itself? Is the one that fills it with love, the person who enters this space or the one that it belongs to?’ – FRAC press release, 2021

(1) Marguerite Yourcenar on Roger Caillois’s theory of play: “L’homme qui aimait les pierres” in En pèlerin et en étranger. Essais, Paris: Gallimard, 1989

(2) The title of the exhibition is the title of one of Cathy Josefowitz’s notebooks.

 

Photos © Martin Argyroglo

Supported by Fluxus Art Projects