March at Maria's: Miriam Laura Leonardi

25 April - 1 June 2019 Galerie Maria Bernheim | Zurich

“It has become routine to assume that the rewards of life are public and that our lives can be measured by how we are seen rather than what we do.” (How to Disappear, Akiko Busch, 2019)

Power, voices, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible. And so is time, the only cage which is big enough for us all. Three metal cages 130x90 (Cage Nr.1), 100x65 (Perfect) and 70x35 (Cage Nr.2) evoke measuring tapes but all numbers are missing. One can‘t read the size of a cage without checking the worklist but one can guess the time that someone has spent to make them. 

During my adolescence we measured our breast, waist and hips but almost none of us reached the ideal 90 - 60 - 90. Some of us tried to improve measurements by taking a contraceptive pill promising more female features. Today, those numbers have lost their meaning which goes hand in hand with the falling stocks of the lingerie brand Victoria Secret. How does meaning define value? The height of the numbers in Victoria’s pink doesn’t change but the gaps in between them do according to the different standard sized canvases. 50x50 (Born), 80x60 (I want to be reborn), 35x50 & 135x50 (New Measurements). The numbers are squeezed, perfectly spaced or split in two parts and all of a sudden what used to define breast hangs right in front of your eyes. What are you looking at? 

Literally back in time, the oversized March looks just like another month from a basic calendar while it remains unclear if the stairs lead upwards or downwards. Months and days still don‘t go by faster even if we are able to get further in less time. 

Finally and because there are no bodies here, what could be the sole object of fetish looks more like a dirty rag. 69 ist Vertrauenssache (Malade au Coeur) is made out half of latex half of leather or half flora half fauna. It is neither measurable nor capable of measuring but it was nonetheless the starting point for my second exhibition at Maria’s. 

-Miriam Laura Leonardi

Miriam Laura Leonardi has had numerous solo and group shows at institutions such as FriArt Kunsthalle, Fribourg, Bel Ami, LA, Swiss Institute New York, NY, USA. She was the recipient of the Swiss Art Awards in 2017. This is her second solo show with the gallery.