Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and the Persistence of the Diorama

The dioramas that Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster created in New York for the DIA Art Foundation present us with heterogeneous temporalities and places. These display boxes, which are about the size of a small theatre stage, are fascinating because they captivate the gaze and project the body into an intriguing space bathed in light. The models for…

Bête Noire by Kent Monkman. Revenge by Diorama

The first dioramas to represent animals in their natural habitat were introduced into North American natural history museums at the end of the 1880s. Although these displays were directly inspired by the dioramas Louis Daguerre had devised in 1822, they differed with regard to one crucial point: the introduction of the third dimension. While Daguerre’s…

The Diorama as Artistic Process

In an 18th century Parisian drawing room, a fox sits enthroned on the divan of a duchess. The animal seems absorbed by a pigeon perched the decorative back moulding, wings spread, readying perhaps to fly off. In the centre of a reception hall with walls covered in crimson fabric, two stags are about to charge…

Vicky Sabourin’s Stagings

Vicky Sabourin was headed for a career in the theatre before she turned to the visual arts. Each of her installation works combines a tableau vivant and a diorama in which she performs, so that viewers can appreciate them whether she is there or not. Inspired by minor news items, personal or family anecdotes, stories…

Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days

White Cube London July 18— September 28, 2014   Hybrid body parts, severed limbs and phallic figures populate Rachel Kneebone’s 399 Days (2012-2013). Towering over visitors as they enter the White Cube’s 9x9x9 gallery space in Bermondsey (London, UK), the artist’s psychosexual hinterland takes the form of an erect column that soars towards the cubic…

Katie Paterson: Ideas That Are Out There

Ingleby Gallery Edinburgh June 27— October 4, 2014   These last couple of months have been quite busy for the Glasgow-born, Berlin-based artist Katie Paterson. Her first major solo exhibition in Britain took place at Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh from June until October of 2014 with a satellite presentation at Jupiter Artland. Paterson’s most recent…

Selected titles

Raqs Media Collective: Casebook. Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, 2014, 296 p. Ill. colour. This book documents 80 works Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) produced between 2002 and 2012. From the outset, attention is given to this contemporary art trio’s approach. They describe their practice as a form of…

The Diorama: Fascinating, Provocative and Educational

With issue 109, ESPACE, the new generation, completes its first lap around the track. While the first two issues focused on Re-Thinking Sculpture?, this third issue features the diorama, as put forward in contemporary art. Although the diorama initially had a purely dramatic purpose, since it created an optical illusion, over the years, it became…