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  • Shannon Bool. Inverted Harem I, installation view, GAK Bremen 2010. Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Shannon Bool: Weiße Tünche, weiße Vorhänge, weiße Angorafelle, silberne Frau, 2010. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe
  • Shannon Bool: The Gate, 2010. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe
  • Shannon Bool: Girl, interrupted, 2009. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe. Photo: Heinz Pelz
  • Shannon Bool: Curtain, 2010. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe. Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Shannon Bool: The Break, 2010. Courtesy: Private collection, Bremen. Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Shannon Bool. Inverted Harem I, installation view, GAK Bremen 2010. Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Shannon Bool: Broken Pole, 2010. Detail. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe. Photo: Ludger Paffrath
  • Shannon Bool: Pub Stair Carpet, 2010. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe. Photo: Tobias Hübel
  • Shannon Bool: Thawing Pane, 2007. Courtesy: Private collection, Cologne. Photo: Heinz Pelz
  • Shannon Bool: Kali, 2009. Courtesy: Collection Graue. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel
  • Shannon Bool: Woman with Alter Ego, 2010. Courtesy: Collection Kadel Willborn. Photo: Heinz Pelz
  • Shannon Bool and Alex Müller: Bar Faselliese, 2009. Courtesy: Galerie Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe & Vera Gliem, Cologne. Photo: Tobias Hübel

Shannon Bool
The Inverted Harem I

more images >
27.11.2010–30.01.2011

Everyday life, literature, psychology, music, and art history are Canadian artist Shannon Bool’s most important sources of inspiration. Her paintings, photograms, collages, carpets, murals, and objects explore contextual shifts and reassignments of meaning. Bool (born 1972, currently based in Berlin) is fascinated by the recurrence of ideas across different cultures and ages, and the revitalisation of quotidian phenomena and historico-cultural references through the excavation of their original meanings. Drawing on a diverse range of references and epochs, Bool creates images that blend historical and contemporary motives, materials, and themes. Form and content figure accordingly as equal peers in her artistic practice.

Bool’s exhibition at the GAK is titled “The Inverted Harem I”. Evoking exoticism’s stubbornly persistent vision of the harem as a site of mystery, the exhibition explores the contrasts between Western projections and the reality of the East, our fascination with the harem as a private space, and the transfer of meaning through materials, along with notions of femininity, eroticism and the Orient, and their treatment in the arts. Bool’s carpets, for instance, uncover Western perceptions of Oriental ornamentation by revisiting 15th century Dutch tablecloths and English pub furnishings, which in turn drew on Middle Eastern patterns. Moving deftly between cultures, Bool’s drawings combine elements taken from paintings and pub floors in designs which are brought to life in the visually stunning works of traditional Turkish carpet makers. Elsewhere a series of poles cut across the exhibition space, blending the imagery of the striptease with art historical references to Barnett Newman and Minimalism. In another work, the bedroom designed by Adolf Loos for his wife becomes a space that is defined by its material contrasts, and the site of a reinterpretation of femininity. Meanwhile, Bool’s paintings are conglomerates of painterly clichés (silk painting meets both abstraction and graphic representation), as she explores the three-dimensional nature of art by accentuating our awareness of the wall behind and the space before her works, and presents viewers with a plethora of art historical references that ranges from Giotto to Jasper Johns.

With its linear structure, “The Inverted Harem I” guides visitors step-by-step from an open space of social interaction (represented by a “user-friendly” sculpture complete with champagne and fresh fruit) through towards an increasingly closed and intimate space.

Previously presented at national and international group exhibitions, this showing of Shannon Bool’s “The Inverted Harem I” at the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst is her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany.

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27.11.2010–30.01.2011

Curated by
Janneke de Vries

In cooperation with CRAC Alsace, Centre Rhénan d’art Contemporain Altkirch (within the framework of Thermostat , Zusammenarbeit zwischen 24 centres d`art und Kunstvereinen) and the Bonner Kunstverein

Publication

Shannon Bool. Inverted Harem (exh. cat., eds. C. Végh, Bonner Kunstverein; S. Kaplan, CRAC Alsace; J. de Vries, GAK, 2011)

Annual edition 

Shannon Bool: Cobble Stones, 2010

Events

Fri 26.11.10, 7 pm
Opening

Thu 02.12.10, 7 pm
Shannon Bool and Janneke de Vries: Bar Faseliese celebrates
Artist talk 

Thu 16.12.10, 7 pm
Guided tour with Janneke de Vries

Thu 06.01.11, 7 pm
Simone Jansen: Europe and the Oriental Carpet
Lecture

Thu 20.01.11, 7 pm
Shannon Bool and Alex Müller: SAMSA PRESENTS
Conversation

Support

The Senator for Culture, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Embassy of Canada, Thermostat, Cooperation between 24 centres d’art and art associations

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