Friday, February 16, 2018

Birgit Megerle at Galerie Neu


"Claire Bretécher’s smokey eyes or a precisely applied black eyeliner are forms that have become a consolidated look that can be put on like a shield. Slider turtles, whose shells are designed according to their habitat, renew their carapaces regularly, though undoubtedly not at a particulary rapid pace. Presumably, painting the make-up shields also takes a long enough time to move slowly enough through the different forms of feminisms that have developed since the 1970s, and at the same time align one’s own image in and with the mirror of the other figures. Birgit Megerle’s portraits would thus confront the pressure imposed on us by some ideas and ideals of beauty with a form of artificiality and masquerade that serves both as strategy and information."

Comparing the mutating patterns of turtle's phantasmagoric plastron to the shifting tides of women's facial adornment is alluring, if wonderfully specific, aligning of cosmetics as carapace, the movement of hard form patterns with a liquid and glacial place, rocks behave like fluids over geologic time and all that. Which has something to do with Megerle's own puttying of her hard edge source material the PRs over several exhibitions having been mentioned as importantly missing, the brushing out the inflated curls and rounding of eyebrow's high angled peaks, replacing their ostentation with a hematoma of makeup. The exchange is unsettling, Megerle's despecifiying of images, removing from them their character, their selfhood, depersonalized, like the most unnerving villain you could face would be the shifting fluid of an inkblot, a blurry monster.