Rosemarie Trockel @ Talbot Rice

Article by Alex Hetherington | 03 Feb 2011

Talbot Rice Gallery eschews Rosemarie Trockel's multi-faceted work in film, sculpture and painting and begins with a meticulous survey of her considerable use of drawing, collage and book drafts. This astute tactic unveils the artist’s prolific and relentless proposals, test-runs and blueprints on her dissension of male-dominated cultural production and the systems, including the role of curator, museum and gallery, that determine authority and administrate concepts of reality and representation. It provides a unique opportunity to observe Trockel’s insistent and unstinting strategy of installing feminine connotations and counter positions within male-dominated political and artistic frameworks.

'I Love Hardcore!' states one of her notebooks, establishing a conduct within the exhibition as a whole of an artist embroiled in a radical intervention, observation and documentation of Western culture and its passing fashions and obsessions. A drawing filled with trash is signposted with the word 'Vogue', an Andy Warhol Mao screen-print is redrawn in drag, John F. Kennedy forms the backdrop to a collage referencing the work of Sylvia Plath, and a drawing of a cowboy is feminised and renamed 'Irony'.

Numerous drawings, collages and notebooks offer alternative conditions that present the grotesque, the theatrical and chimerical, advocating an interest in combining both male and female identities – the anima and animus, of the female within the male and vice versa – and a bringing to the surface of the unconscious mind, and instinctive, animal-like states.

Drawings, Collages and Book Drafts declares an emphatically different perspective on recent and current histories. It invokes the role of the artist to undermine, through persistence and consistent endeavour, the established and the establishment, and liberate the subjugated and wilfully misrepresented.