Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Live Through That?! @ New Museum, 2014
“Recently her installations have staged domestic environments, such as a series of bedrooms produced over the past year featuring beds that have been transformed into sound sculptures through the insertion of speakers. “Live Through That?!,” Reynaud-Dewar’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, presents a new installation in this series and includes, among other works, four site-specific videos. Shot on several of the Museum’s floors, the videos reveal the artist as she moves and dances alone through the building, camouflaging herself in the empty gallery spaces during the transition period between exhibitions.
Playing with notions of intimacy and display, Reynaud-Dewar pays homage to four films by Bruce Nauman titled Art Make-Up (1967–68), in which the artist applies layers of makeup to his face and torso, first white, then pink, then green, and finally black—the same four colors Reynaud-Dewar covers her own body with as she performs throughout the Museum, using a different color on each floor.
Repeating this same color palette in her installation, Reynaud-Dewar has covered the walls of the Lobby Gallery with curtains partially dipped in black ink and inscribed with excerpts from French writer Guillaume Dustan’s 1996 book In My Room. With musician and composer Macon she has created a soundtrack, installed as part of her bed sculptures, that incorporates her reading aloud from Dustan’s provocative, sexually explicit narrative. As with the literal exposure of her own body—naked save for the makeup—literature and the written word’s ability to mediate personal and intimate experiences play an important role both in this exhibition and in Reynaud-Dewar’s ongoing body of work.”