sábado, 20 de fevereiro de 2016

Property of a Private Collection, by Rachel Alliston

With the exhibition 'Property of a Private Collection', Rachel Alliston presents three new works, products of the artist’s recent research into philanthropist, horticulturalist and art collector Bunny Mellon (1910-2014). Mellon was perhaps best known for her design of the Rose Garden at the American White House. Together with her husband, she also founded the Yale Center for British Art and funded a significant extension to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The central work of the exhibition is Alliston’s 2016 video, which draws from diverse sources including Mellon’s rare interviews, her husband’s published memoirs 'Reflections in a Silver Spoon' (1992) and the autobiography of her father, 'All Out of Step' (1956). The video was filmed on the premises of Decad, Alliston’s not-for-profit art space in Berlin. A computer-generated female voice provides a narrative thread recounting factual information on Mellon’s life, while two actresses embody the semi-fictional character as rendered by Alliston. An accompanying artist book is comprised of various image materials, photographs documenting Mellon’s life as well as the personal possessions which were sold by Sotheby’s following her death, arranged into four auctions: fine art, jewelry, furniture and real estate. Alliston’s third artwork takes the form of a print based on botanical drawings in Mellon’s collection.

In 'Property of a Private Collection', Rachel Alliston creates a link between worlds, between the sites of her own production as a contemporary artist in Berlin and the legendary wealth and high society of her protagonist. Questions arise around the power structures in which artists and collectors are embedded, a right through ownership, philanthropy as political intervention, privacy and publicity, authority through knowledge acquisition and the historical role of women in both artistic production and art collecting. An exhibition catalogue will be presented on the closing day of the exhibition. In it, a number of essays written by different authors will elaborate on, and depart from, these themes of the exhibition.

photo by Mareike Spendel

'Property of a Private Collection', by Rachel Alliston
with Thaís de Almeida Prado and Helga Krickl

Centrum Reuterstraße 7 12053 Berlin
(U7/U8 Hermannplatz / U7 Rathaus Neukölln / U8 Boddinstraße)

For further information, please visit www.centrumberlin.com
To make an appointment to see the exhibition, please contact info@centrumberlin.com.