Isabella Ducrot

'Tendernesses', Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
July 30 - September 5, 2021

Isabella seems attracted to everything that is normally hidden. Not self-important official mysteries, but precisely what is kept hidden out of modesty, out of embarrassment, all that is tacitly considered to be of little importance, unworthy and unseemly. In other words, Isabella is attracted not by what is expressly forbidden, by prohibitions, but by what we refer to as taboos: things, objects or gestures that we skirt around out of some kind of social and cultural pact. Yet precisely because of this, because they are not officially-formulated rules or legal prohibitions, they offer scope for an even more powerful force to act. In so-called primitive civilizations, taboo was a kind of electric charge, anointing certain not-yet-fully-defined objects, always capable of assuming purity or impurity, the sacred or the forbidden (the word sacer, in Hebrew qadoš, means both “sacred” and “impure”). One and the same gesture, the impossibility of being touched, indicated the observance of that which is sacred and that which is impure. Isabella is attracted by this space laden with opposing tensions. She does not proceed with the intention of desecrating, but with an instinctive desire for knowledge, spurred on by an inkling that, among the stained and greasy checked fabrics, something decisive lurks.


– Emanuele Dattilo


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August 10, 2021
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