dépendance is pleased to present House for a Sportswoman, an exhibition by Linder and Megan Marrin.
The title refers to a project designed by Marcel Breuer for the Berlin Bauausstellung in 1931; the House for a Sportsman combined a fitness club with a residence for a gymnastics teacher. The house consisted of a large training room of which opened five small rooms, which could be closed off from the main space by accordion doors. The five rooms contained a dressing room, bathroom, bedroom, study and dining room. This exhibition revealed the obsession with health and the connection between modernism and hygiene.
The urbanist devotion to facilitate sports and wellness in the contemporary home, as displayed by House for a Sportsman, were true markers for avant-garde and progressiveness. In House for a Sportswoman, Linder and Megan Marrin refer to sports from a contemporary point of view, looking at topics such as glamour, consumption, the individual versus the group, and more.
Linder uses record sleeves contemporary to her teenage years as the foundation of a new series of photomontages. The ‘stereo’ status proclaimed on many of the sleeves reflects the allure of the transition at that time from mono recordings to high fidelity technology incorporating a 180 degree stereo field within the home. On the sleeves, the artist chose to work with images of footballers and sports cars, thinking about the aspirational, idealistic aspects of masculinity, as well as acknowledging the speed of the cars synching with the speed of the athletes, what has now developed to relation between speed and power, with diverse references to culture, to arts, and to a lifestyle of a certain ideal. One can think of the French Theorist Paul Virilio, who noted that the speed at which something happens may change its essential nature, and that which moves with speed quickly comes to dominate that which is slower. ‘Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation.’
Megan Marrin’s paintings for the exhibition are made of two sets. Both are based on her personal experience with and research into the development of early Twentieth century fitness movements. One set consists of three views of a piece of classical Pilates equipment, the Ped-o-pul. The second set of paintings are shaped canvases in the forms of plastic mannequin torsos. These new sets finish the artist’s series of ‘strengthening the body’ works, after previous series focused on the body at rest, the body in pain, and the body in life and death. The exercise paintings maintain the running joke commonly made by people looking at Pilates equipment, “this looks like a torture device!”
Linder (b. Liverpool, UK) is known for her photography, radical feminist photomontage and confrontational performance art. Recent solo exhibitions include Linderism at Hatton Gallery & Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Nottingham Contemporary, Kestnergesellschaft; Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, and Museum of Modern Art PS1. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Tate Modern, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Tate Britain, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2017, Sterling was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award.
Megan Marrin (b. St. Louis, MO) lives and works in New York. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Queer Thoughts, New York; Efremidis, Berlin; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; Mitchell Algus, New York; Svetlana, New York and David Lewis, New York. The artist will have a solo exhibition at Ordet, Milan, in Spring 2022. Currently, a mural by her is the first in a series of mural commissions on the uptown-facing exterior of the Swiss Institute’s neighboring building at 128 2nd Avenue.