7 Drawings 28 Kisses, performance, ©2013
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Screenings and Exhibitions
12×12 IBB-Videolounge, single channel video screening, Berlinische Galerie: Museum für Modern Art, Photography and Architecture, Berlin, 2014
7 Drawings, 28 Kisses is a transgressive performance work which investigates German colloquiums while evoking the simplicity of minimalism, the self-referential tendencies in Conceptualism, and Fluxus art actions. RHEE makes use of a ready-made art object to create 7 “action drawings” live for the audience. Her work incorporates the well-known German sweet, officially known as Negerkuss and Mohrenkopf (Nigger’s Kiss and Moor’s Head respectively) before the 1980s. Later, the candy companies thankfully changed the names to Schokokuss (chocolate kiss) and Schaumkuss (foam kiss). The old names, however, are still in common usage by the mainstream.
In the performance, RHEE additionally employs the Little Gauss Arithmetic Progression Formula as a strategy of counting the Other, while objectifying and refusing to acknowledge individualized subjects. The performance also references two songs that were popular in the mid-19th century, The Ten Little Indians and The Ten Little Niggers, in which all the Indians and all the Niggers eventually die by the songs’ end. Yet another symbol, which explores the space between double meanings and connotations, is the choice of the artist’s clothing in the performance. In her hometown of Detroit, the original label Carhartt produces clothing for factory workers representing the proletariat laborer and the working class. Conversely, in Berlin, the same manufacturer produces a very different style of clothing for a distinctly other group: the trendy, affluent hipster. Created with the generous support of the Millay Colony for the Arts, this methodical but messy performance plays with the slippage of meanings.
7 Drawings, 28 Kisses was performed at MOMENTUM, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin Germany on 26 May 2013 as part of the WORKS ON PAPER exhibition of curated performances by Rachel Rits-Volloch. This performance was honored in 2014 by the AHL Foundation in New York, with the 1st Prize of the Visual Arts Competition.
Photo Credit: Aleks Slota ©2013 estherka