News — 28 Feb 2012

Opening Thursday, June 23, 2011 Temporary Stedelijk 2 Stedelijk Museum,

Amsterdam The Stedelijk Museum proudly presents recent works by Jennifer Bornstein, including 15 etchings and the 16mm film Frauenkörperbewegungsbilder from 2010. The presentation is on view from June 23 on, as part of Temporary Stedelijk 2.

Bornstein’s 15 etchings are based on a selection of images from the artist’s collection of archival photographic sources, including photographs by Sam Wagstaff Jr., an important curator and collector of photography. Bornstein invited people to re-create poses depicted in the archival photographs, making her own photographs of them posing and subsequently making etchings from her photographs. The archival photographs are thus personalized and translated into another medium of serial reproduction, etching, which is photography’s historical predecessor.

Bornstein consistently bases her etchings on photographs, frequently choosing images that document performances. She is interested in the use of the body and nudity as a political gesture in art of the 20th century: “The photographs strike me as being the physical manifestation of memories, as they are often the only surviving visual artifacts of performance works that have, by the very nature of their time-based medium, disappeared”.

To make the 16mm film, Bornstein enlisted dancers to re-enact body positions found in photographic documentation of dance performances by Yvonne Rainer.

As Bornstein explains: “I’m intrigued by how squarely the photographs documenting these performances have made their way into the collective memory of many artists of our time, many of whom were not alive when the works were executed; it’s as if the passage of time has lent the works a romanticized meaning different from the performers’ original intentions.”

Jennifer Bornstein (b. 1970, Seattle, Washington) lives and works in Berlin. She studied in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. She has had solo exhibitions in Stockholm, London, New York and Los Angeles and has received several awards, including the DAAD Fellowship (2010–2011) and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award (2008).