Gang rape and lynching; kidnap; forced labour: throughout history, women and girls have been subjected to terrible violence and repression around the world. More shockingly, in many places, it still goes on today. In her site-specific installation Shrine for Girls, New York-based artist Patricia Cronin (b1963) commemorates three such cases: the rape, murder and hanging from trees of three girls in India in June 2014 (the “mango tree rape case”); the kidnapping of 276 female students by the jihadist militants of Boko Haram in Nigeria in April 2014; and the many young women pushed into forced labour in the Magdalene asylums and laundries in Europe and North America from the late-18th century to as recently as 1996. These are represented respectively by piles of saris, hijabs and grey aprons, one on each of the three stone altars in Chiesa di San Gallo, Venice’s smallest church, now deconsecrated and serving as a cultural space.
Three shrines, each accompanied by a framed photograph, offering space for reflection, contemplation and remembrance; space for learning lessons; space for lamenting wrongs done and recalling these – and many other – young girls, whom Cronin considers to be secular or gender martyrs, since, unlike religious martyrs, they receive no otherworldly triumph.
Patricia Cronin: Shrine for Girls
Brooklyn Rail Curatorial Projects
Chiesa di San Gallo, Venice
9 May – 22 November 2015
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Stay of life in Venice
Survival is perhaps the message of the 2013 Venice Biennale, but confusion of aims, contradiction of purpose and confounded icons prevail in the spread of national Pavilions throughout the city centre, across the canals.
Outside In: 55th Venice Biennale
In the alleyways of Venice, street vendors are touting a new product – a globule of goo, which when thrown at the pavement splatters into a seemingly irreconcilable fried egg shape, but over the course of five seconds, reforms itself into a perfect sphere. It’s something of a metaphor for the force of descent on the city of a mass of art every two years.
Richard Long: Walking and Marking
The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Edinburgh, in time for the Edinburgh Festival 2007, is currently staging an outstanding recent retrospective exhibition on Richard Long. There is a curious irony here: never has Long's work been so superbly exhibited anywhere, as in the NGMA's present building - this neo-classical Schinkelesque mid-l9th Century former school building.
Daniel Buren and his Invention Trajectory
Daniel Buren has had a stimulating and now distinguished continuity in Britain. The arrival of his exhibition, 'Invention II', at Modern Art Oxford recalls a long association, firstly with MOMA Oxford (1973) and in the pages of Studio International. His own texts here are notable for their clarity and perspicacity.
A Runaway Girl at Home in New York: Louise Bourgeois at the Guggenheim
Louise Bourgeois, a travelling retrospective marking the artist's nearly 100 years of living and more than seven decades of art-making, is an ambitious project. Opening in October 2007 at Tate Modern in London, the exhibit appeared at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and now is installed in expanded form at the Guggenheim in New York. The museum's singular Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda, with its spiralling ramps, emphasises Bourgeois's prevailing modes of operation: recalling, recreating, reworking, revisiting and re-examining.