Portrait von Louise Bourgeois by Robert Mapplethorpe, Peaches Christ Superstar, Jutta Koether „Isabelle“, Bruce LaBruce Danko Jones Legs Videostill
In the third, culminating component of Koether’s exhibition cycle, the framed, deep-hued Isabelle commands the stage. A pink and orange phallus painted in the quickly-drying „instant“ medium of gouache, Isabelle appears not so much as an emblem of patriarchy and fetishism, but is rather a disruptive, fluid force – a jouissance with the power to even shape its own frame. Evoking a rich history of works investigating the phallus as parody, pun, and pose (Louise Bourgeois’ Fillette, Marcel Duchamp’s Objet-Dard, and Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field (or Floor Show) come to mind, all produced in the 1950-60s), the phallus of Isabelle is an action-ready, self-possessed, reliably magical object. No longer part of a male body but with a female name, adorned with testicles resembling breasts (and the apples in another work occasionally on display in this exhibition), Isabelle could be seen as what Kleinian psychologists might call a combined parent figure – a hybrid or unity of opposites that is less sweetly erotic than frighteningly self-generative.
Not that there wasn’t any reason to complain: Number one was the gigantic cross that appeared at the end. The work of Andreas Golder, it looked fantastic — a great purple blobby mess of bones, flesh, and organs, crowned with a giant penis. But could the symbolism be more heavy-handed? (Headed?)