KAREN LAMASSONNE’S DESIRING LANDSCAPES IN RUIDO / NOISE, THE EXHIBITION AT SWISS INSTITUE
Ruido / Noise is the first international survey of the work of Colombian American artist Karen Lamassone. Spanning from her early years to today, the exhibit at Swiss Institute shows the artist’s commitment to portraying women as desiring subjects.
Lamassonne´s paintings, photographs, videos, installations and collages are characteristically guided by a search for spaces and locations where it is possible to express oneself and one’s sensuality, alone or with others. From the tiled bathrooms where a room of one’s one can be found behind locked doors, to the urban bridges and parks seen in the Cali paintings, Lamassonne’s work presents varied possibilities for occupying spaces as a form of erotics in a shifting sociocultural landscape.
Besides, the exhibition features the first realization of an installation that Lamassonne proposed in 1984 entitled Ruido (Noise). Television screens playing an experimental video made while the artist lived in New York City one winter are used to light several paintings installed around them, which each depict a woman’s body illuminated by the flow of a TV. In this video of contrasts the heat of a lone body is pitched against other environments and temperatures, eventually meeting the freezing city snow.
Karen Lamassonne was one of the central figures in the male-dominated Cali and Bogotá art and film scenes during the 1970s and 80s. Through her career, she has maintained a focus on self-portraiture and depictions of intimacy. Her practice was initially centered on painting, but her involvement with cinema led to an exploration of video, photography, animation, storyboarding and art direction. She now lives and works in Atlanta, United States.