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Nicolas Ceccaldi, 'To be Titled', 2016, Courtesy of House of Gaga
The mass-produced paintings that adorn dentists’ waiting rooms and model show homes are inoffensive but, invariably, depressingly dull. The absence of any specific referents in their anodyne landscapes renders obvious their assembly-line fabrication. They call to mind modernist Hermann Broch’s definition of kitsch as the product of ‘an emergent bourgeoisie caught between contradictory values: an asceticism of work on the one hand and an exaltation of feeling on the other’.
Chelsea Culp, Installation Miss Universe, 2016, Yautepec
Chelsea Culprit’s Miss Universe reimagines the titular parade of competitive objectification as the psychic mise-en-scène of a strip club locker room, strewn with all the defences, reconciliations and intimacies needed to survive the pressure to perform.