DO NOT TALK
DO NOT INTERACT WITH ANYONE
DO NOT WHISPER
DO NOT SMILE
DO NOT LAUGH
DO NOT MOVE THEATRICALLY
DO NOT MOVE TOO FAST
DO NOT MOVE TOO SLOW
From Vanessa Beecroft’s Rules of Non- Engagement
Jeffrey Deitch opened his gallery in January 1996 with a now legendary performance by Vanessa Beecroft. Celebrating the gallery’s long history with the artist, Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles is presenting a thirty-year survey of Beecroft’s work.
Vanessa Beecroft is one of the rare artists who invented a new way to make a work of art. As an art student at Milan’s Brera Academy in the early 1990s, Beecroft realized that the nude models in her life drawing class were more interesting than her own drawings. That insight led to her unique fusion of painting, performance and sculpture. VB95, a revisitation of her iconic inaugural performance at Deitch Projects, will be presented as part of the exhibition, bringing her creative trajectory full circle.
Beecroft’s work has shaped performance art, the representation of the female body and socio-political discourse in art. Her performances often highlight the tensions between nakedness and clothing, constraint and freedom, the collective and the individual, and human strength and weakness. Beecroft’s work has transcended the art world and has entered popular culture, influencing fashion, film and musical performance.
Vanessa Beecroft has lived in Los Angeles for sixteen years, but this will be her first major exhibition in the city since a performance at Gagosian in 2001.
During the past year, Beecroft has focused on painting, creating resonant images based on her Polaroids of early performances. These sensuous paintings capture the liminal state of her performance work, hovering between the real and the imaginary. The exhibition will feature new paintings, vintage photography and sculpture. There will also be a video retrospective of her performances with an original soundtrack by composer Gustave Rudman with whom Beecroft has collaborated in the past year introducing the element of symphonic sound to a performance traditionally silent.
One of the most fascinating sections of the exhibition will show work created in Southern California, her remarkable project with the US Navy Seals in 1999. Also included will be her project with the US Navy Submarine Force from her performance on the deck of the aircraft carrier Intrepid.
Since 1993, Vanessa Beecroft has created 94 performances and has exhibited internationally at major museums, airports, palazzos and botanical gardens. Her work always has a conceptual structure. Her performances are built upon her Rules of Non-Engagement but from the beginning, the work has always engaged with the world and challenged the viewer.