Isa Genzken – Savile Row – 12th January 2013

Starting with the weakness of the printed handout? Encasement, I am being led to believe, is a feminist conditional. Containment, encasement, wrapping, filling, clothed/shrouded, layered/masked. Paper, plastic, (pop) images, photocopies, mirror/mirrored, jacket; beauty is not a distraction here. I think. That the hastily written photocopy accompanying the exhibition uses the tawdry, broad, lazy statements we don’t want from a contemporary gallery. Is beauty such an obsession of women that they cannot reference it without denying a complex secondary context (secondary in engagement, primary in relevance)? So the printout suggests. Here, Genzken has The Confusion of the Precious (reclaimed kitsch from a previous era coveted in ours). Unsure about this. Two misnomer:

  1. That the found objects in this category of work was valueless when it is often sort after collectors’ ware of unique and socially significant material and design.
  2. That a work by a woman that uses any diction relating to beauty is a feminist critique of the objectification of the female body. It is there, but there are stronger chains of words here, words that will take you back to some forms of female identity but from a much more interesting direction.