Body Doubles

Images

Wu Tsang, still from Mishima in Mexico, 2012. High-definition video projection (color, sound) and programmed LED light installation, unique. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Buddy Taub Foundation, 2013.35. © 2012 Wu Tsang. Photo: Photo courtesy Michael Benevento, Los Angeles.
Gillian Wearing, Self-Portrait as my Mother, Jean Gregory, 2003. Gelatin silver print; 53 1/8 × 45 5/8 in. (134.9 × 115.9 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Collectors Forum in memory of Tom Ruben, 2003.8. © 2003 Gillian Wearing. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #147, 1985. Chromogenic development print, edition 1 of 6; 49 ½ × 72 ¾ in. (125.7 × 184.8 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.99. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Christina Ramberg, Sleeve Mountain #1 and #2, 1973. Acrylic on fiberboard; two panels, each: 25 1/16 × 10 ¾ in. (63.6 × 27.3 cm); two frames, each: 28 1/8 × 13 5/8 × 2 3/8 in. (71.4 × 34.6 × 6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Albert J. Bildner, 1974.7.a–b. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Richard Prince, Untitled (three women’s hands with gloves), 1980. Chromogenic development prints, unique; three parts, each: 27 × 40 in. (68.6 × 101.6 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.81.a–c. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Lorna Simpson, Flipside, 1991. Gelatin silver prints and Plexiglas plaque, edition 3 of 3; installed: 51 ¼ × 69 ¾ in. (130.2 × 177.2 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection, 2002.62.a–c. © 1991 Lorna Simpson. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Valerie Belin, Untitled #03010907, 2003. Gelatin silver print, edition 2 of 5; 39 2/5 × 31 ½ in. (100 × 80 cm), Courtesy of the artist.
Paul McCarthy, She Man, 2004. Silicone, aluminum, wood, latex, foam, urethane, and metal, unique; 66 7/8 × 47 7/8 × 95 5/8 in. (170 × 121.5 × 243 cm). Collection of Rena Conti, Chicago, Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Lorna Simpson, still from Chess, 2012. High-definition video installation with three projections (black-and-white, sound); 10 minutes, 25 seconds (looped). Score and performance: Jason Moran, Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.
Installation view, Body Doubles, MCA Chicago, Oct 25, 2014–Apr 19, 2015. Pictured with: Wu Tsang with Alexandro Segade, still from Mishima in Mexico, 2012. High-definition video projection (color, sound) and programmed LED light installation , unique . Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Buddy Taub Foundation, 2013.35 . © 2012 Wu Tsang. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Installation view, Body Doubles, MCA Chicago, Oct 25, 2014–Apr 19, 2015. Pictured with: Wu Tsang with Alexandro Segade, still from Mishima in Mexico, 2012. High-definition video projection (color, sound) and programmed LED light installation , unique . Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Buddy Taub Foundation, 2013.35 . © 2012 Wu Tsang. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Installation view, Body Doubles, MCA Chicago, Oct 25, 2014–Apr 19, 2015. Pictured with: Wu Tsang with Alexandro Segade, still from Mishima in Mexico, 2012. High-definition video projection (color, sound) and programmed LED light installation , unique . Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of the Buddy Taub Foundation, 2013.35 . © 2012 Wu Tsang. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

About

Body Doubles raises complex questions about the relationship between the body and identity, and explores the myriad ways that artists have used the body to challenge boundaries—between the individual and society, male and female, interior and exterior, normal and transgressive. As the plurality of the exhibition’s title suggests, Body Doubles recognizes that the body is not fixed but rather in a perpetual state of flux and transformation. The exhibition explores two parallel ideas: first, that multiple bodies can perform one identity (akin to the role of the “body double” in cinema); and second, that multiple identities can exist within one body.

Drawn largely from the MCA’s permanent collection, the exhibition features artists who highlight the body as an object (something that we have), the body as a subject (something that we are), and the body as an ongoing performance (something that we become). These contemporary artists use the body as a tool for radical transformation as reflected through the lenses of sexuality, gender, class, age, and race. They think about the body as a positive problem, or, to borrow Thomas Osborn’s words, as a “vehicle for thought and action.”

Two cornerstones of the exhibition are Wu Tsang’s video installation, Mishima in Mexico (2012), a recent acquisition into the MCA’s permanent collection; and Lorna Simpson’s three-channel video installation Chess (2012), which makes its North American premiere. Body Doubles also includes works by Jean Arp, Valérie Belin, Jeanne Dunning, Robert Gober, Rashid Johnson, Gülsün Karamustafa, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Richard Prince, Christina Ramberg, Collier Shorr, Cindy Sherman, Xaviera Simmons, and Gillian Wearing.

Body Doubles is organized by Michelle Puetz, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Exhibition Broadsheets

To broaden the conversation around the themes presented in Body Doubles, the MCA commissioned artists Aay Preston-Myint and Latham Zearfoss to create an artists’ publication for visitors to use as a reference in the galleries. Preston-Myint and Zearfoss convened a group of local artists, educators, and activists for a round-table conversation about transgender identity. Excerpts from their conversation are included in this pair of broadsheets with art by Edie Fake and Daniel Luedtke.

Funding

Support for Body Doubles is generously provided by the Pritzker Traubert Collection Exhibition Fund. Additional generous support is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship program and Sara Szold.