From One End of the World to the Other
Women think in Douglas Sirk’s films. Usually, woman react, they do what women are supposed to do, but with Sirk they think. It does one good to see women who think.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rebecca Warren first devised the exhibition All that Heaven Allows – a title which is both literal and figurative – for the Tate St Ives in Cornwall. A final stretch of earth before the sea which, in her own words, and like the Douglas Sirk film whose title she has borrowed, conjures up “freedom and limitation”. In moving eastwards and inland, the exhibition puts back together a selection of works which tell how Rebecca Warren associates the history of sculpture with her own history, tradition with the daily round, the serious with the frivolous, and mastery with imbalance. Warren plays with the codes of sculpture in a virtuoso way. Using pompoms, sharp colours and at once grotesque and sensual shapes, she hybridizes her large bronzes with a corrosive femininity. With rough clay, she also contradicts their permanence. Metal structures which borrow from Minimalism and display cases, where neon and little everyday items are arranged as self-portraits, put her own virtuosity at a remove, as if to introduce some narrative into the experience of the exhibition.
Rebecca Warren always finds a way to incorporate in her work everything that interests and amuses her, thus creating a populace of objects which, in one and the same movement, pirouette and become bogged down.