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(AEQAI) Review of Celant Lecture at Opening of FotoFocus

Posted November 24, 2015 in

"I’d like to talk a little bit about Celant’s lecture on Mapplethorpe , the man and the exhibition; he spoke for just over an hour, after the drinks/networking period before dinner, and before the dinner itself. All possible differing perspectives on Mapplethorpe the man, and Mapplethorpe the artist/photographer, may well have been touched upon in Celant’s brilliant lecture, a kind of blend of art history and criticism that was erudite, creative, and, more than anything else, melancholy. Celant had been a friend and colleague of Mapplethorpe for decades, and his infusion of personal anecdotes and thoughts from studio visits over the years hung over Celant’s lecture, as if Patti Smith’s aura from her spectacular memoir Just Kids was hovering in the air in that room at the CAC (lower level auditorium). All of the new energy brought into the first and lower level gallery spaces by the new paint and wallpaper drove all the guests down into the lower level, almost mirroring the levels of life/death about which Celant would speak so eloquently. (The CAC’s new redesign of the spaces showed to great effect that evening, making the first floor and ramp down to the lower level bristling with urban energy and a kind of abstract alternative energy source. Members of the dance troupe PONES danced on the first floor through most of the evening, and their presence kind of connected the guests, the CAC itself, architect Zaha Hadid, and the ghost of Robert Mapplethorpe himself, the night’s missing guest of honor.)"

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