Sunday, 18 November 2012
Work from her oeuvre.
“Though based on historical research, Reynaud Dewar’s works often evoke the feeling that one has landed on a riotous new planet where time and space are anything but linear. Fittingly, the centrepiece of ‘Interpretation’ evoked a Suprematist-shaded spaceship (Interpretation Structure, 2010). Against the wooden structure’s mirrored interior, a video projection showed Rias, a striking woman in a carnivalesque dress, seated on a throne-like chair whose jarring geometry referenced Ettore Sottsass’s Memphis Group furniture. After she theatrically described attending a Sun Ra concert in France in 1970, Rias began dancing slowly around the throne – placed in the same gallery that the viewer stood in now – to the fractured, frenetic sounds of the original concert itself.
This moving, séance-like scene was accompanied by the pencil-on-cardboard series, ‘Interpretation Drawings’ (2010), which featured stencilled simulacrums of Sun Ra’s 1950s-era pamphlets such as A Spook Sho Is a Dragg Man, He’s a Dragg. The throne was there too, its geometric forms deftly dressed in African fabrics from Paris markets. Taken together, the exhibition explored notions of identity, performance, design and origins: Sun Ra famously insisted he was from Saturn (slyly undercutting those who would associate him with the lineage of slavery); Rias, in turn, is the artist’s originator, though here she took on an otherworldly identity. Nevertheless, the equilibrium Reynaud Dewar achieved with these disparate histories was discomfiting. That the show’s very power came from this disquiet, however, has long held true of the artist’s work.” – Frieze Magazine