The Puppet Show is a group exhibition curated by Mohamed Almusibli featuring the works of Jasmine Gregory, Nils Amadeus Lange, Reba Maybury, Denis Savary, Linda Semadeni, Ser Serpas and Latefa Wiersch.
Referring to the well-known tradition of puppetry, the exhibition explores the novelty of puppets within contemporary art and presents an array of practices that include performance, sculpture, and painting.
In this context, Mohamed Almusibli is interested in the relationship between the puppet and the puppeteer, with its characteristics of manipulation, control, and dramaturgy. A puppet only comes to life when the puppeteer decides so, in the form of a theatrical illusion that aims to make the puppet appear separate and autonomous from its ‘master’.
In recent times, the use of puppets as an allegory has become less enigmatic and more politically relevant as it has taken on symbolism in visual critiques of authoritarianism and nationalism. Which begs the question: what value is there in returning to puppetry after its tricks and vocabulary have already become all too familiar?
The Puppet Show presents works which explore both the puppet as an object or caricature, and the imaginary universe that this form evokes. Whereas puppets appear in the work of some artists, in others they are nowhere to be found. All the audience is left with is suggestions with a resemblance to a theater play. Nonetheless, the works all allude to the mechanisms of puppetry, either as a theme or an already embedded relationship between the artist and their work, or even their interaction with the public. The puppet becomes a symbol of tension that reflects the dynamics of contemporary society.
The Puppet Show presents existing and newly commissioned works produced by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève. A puppet show will be performed by Nils Amadeus Lange on the opening and closing dates of the exhibition.
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