Artist: CHRISTOPH BROICH
Exhibition Concept: Sandra Vermuyten
For the 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Christoph Broich presents a selection of his work in the unique setting of Dom Spiridonov. Broich is best known as an artist for his impressive sculptural installations which take the form of casts or ‘skins’. Steering away from the much-hyped confluence of art and fashion in recent years, Broich’s artwork has received international attention for his ‘Lara’ series as well as his impressive “The Girl Who Sold Her Soul To The Devil And Won”
Before turning to contemporary art, Christoph was an internationally renowned fashion designer. He graduated from the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts and has resided in Belgium’s cultural capital ever since. Christoph Broich has received international attention with sculptural installations that have come to stand for a willful sensitivity to the body and mortality. His work is a manifestation of the complex and unquiet correlation between life and work, material and concept.
In his Kopf (Head) series, the artist successfully expands his visual vocabulary by creating a cohesive environment around a single element, the head. Cut up iconic items of clothing and fabric are collaged onto busts and then painted with several coats of latex. Upon completion, as with all of Broich's meticulously made sculptures, the bust is destroyed and the shell (skin) is all that remains. Broich's skinned sculptures focus on deterioration and present the reversal of the natural process: skin and flesh decomposing first and the skeleton remaining. Suspended from the ceiling, the heads create an eerie field of beheaded individuals.
Inspired by the Weimar bacchanalia, “Voluptuous Panic” invites the viewer to become part of the action. Understanding the importance of absence as well as presence in the deployment of his sculpted elements within a real space, Broich proves to be a master at orchestration and placement. Spatially isolated through perspective techniques, curious manipulated, cast characters populate the weirdly decadent environment. The choice of mannequins, empty, non-threatening 'everyone' figures is deliberate, its effect one of alienation. All of the characters in Voluptuous Panic sustain a bland look. They stare into emptiness as they lean on enigmatic moments frozen in space and time, a singular, inexplicable silent moment.
The piece “The Girl Who Sold Her Soul To The Devil And Won” is dedicated to Amanda Lear and her album "Sweet Revenge". Amanda Lear started her career as a model in the mid 1960s and was also the muse of Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. She first came to the public's attention as the fetish clad model on the cover of Roxy Music's album For Your Pleasure in 1973. She was a multimillion selling Disco Queen from the mid 70s to the early 80s. As from the mid 80s she positioned herself as one of the leading media personalities in mainland Europe, especially in Italy and in France. Since the 1990s her time has been divided between music, television, writing and movies as well as pursuing her career as a painter.
A series of nocturnal private views inspired on Christoph’s work will be organized in cooperation with UNFASHION. These events bring together experimental music, reality defying performances and innovative theatre, transforming into an ever evolving exploration of audio visual performance.
To celebrate the end of the exhibition a session of the interactive "Lara wo bist du" performance will be held at Dom Spiridonov, which will ensure that this Russian chapter in Christoph’s life becomes part of his oeuvre.
Christoph Broich is represented by BOOMBOOM in Russia and Envoy Enterprises (New York) in the rest of the world.
Dom Spiridonov was built in 1895 by the well-known architect Eibushits. He designed the building especially for State Counsellor Spiridonov, who was notable for his exquisite taste and interest in Western painting and architecture. After the revolution the first kindergarten under the patronage of N. K. Krupskaya was located in this building. In 2008 the building was completely restored.