Category Archives: Brice Dellsperger

The Rose Garden Without Thorns >< July – August 2004


„The Rose Garden without Thorns“
8 July –  11 September 2004

Slater Bradley, Brice Dellsperger, Dan Fischer, Irina Georgieva, Erik Hanson, Michael Huey, Justin Lieberman, Tam Ochiai, Jon Routson, Jack Smith, Jean-Luc Verna

This show is about the richly complicated relationships that artists have with each other. It is not a show about appropriation, theft or homage, but these strategies are certainly addressed. The emphasis here is on figuration rather than abstraction in art objects. The inspiration for “The Rose Garden Without Thorns” is a drawing made by Jack Smith, the underground filmmaker whose spirit runs throughout Andy Warhol’s network of ‘superstars’. 

Slater Bradley has made many series using a Doppelgänger as a stand in for himself, and also for Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson and Ian Curtis.

Brice Dellsperger remakes scenes from movies using the same actor for every part in the scene. Often the actors are playing their parts in drag, confusing identifications and identities.

Dan Fisher makes very tight renderings of well known photographs of artists.

Irina Georgieva is making pieces she considers diaristic, combining images of artworks with images from her childhood in Sofia. All are distilled to a commonality of technique and then subject to her train of consciousness associations.

Erik Hanson deliberately quotes the music that defined him as the subject of all of his work.

Having recently completed a massive genealogical study of his family, Michael Huey is now re-photographing odd remnants he has come across, including receipts for death certificates, or a drawing of the stars made by a grandmother.

Justin Lieberman references artists and musicians in combinations he finds interesting. He reimagines Henry Darger landscapes populated by Jock Sturges’ adolescent girls and Paul McCarthy’s monsters.

Tam Ochiai makes work that references cinema, music, artists, and even galleries, museums and museum gift shops. He once made a sculpture of Gilbert and George’s singing sculpture.

Jon Routson has made a twenty minute version of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 4, edited for TV, and interspersed with commercials.

Jean-Luc Verna has starred in many of Brice Dellsperger’s films. His own work is very much about his body, he makes drawings that are made the way tattoos are made and refer to something he loves.


The Rose Garden Without Thorns >< Photo Gallery

Brice Dellsperger >< Body Double 16 and 17 >< September-October 2003

postcard front

Brice Dellsperger

September 11- October 25, 2003
Opens September 11, 19.00 – 21.00

postcard back

“Body Double 16” 2003, starring Jean-Luc Verna. Duration: 6.24 minutes
“Body Double 17” 2001, starring Gwen Roch and Morgane Rousseau. Duration: 16.27 minutes

Galerie Lisa Ruyter will open its doors to the public for the first time by presenting a show of video works by Brice Dellsperger from the 11th of September through the 25th of October, 2003.

Two pieces will be screened one after the other for the duration of the exhibition. “Body Double 17” from 2001, is a remake of the roadhouse scene from David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.” In “Body Double 17” all of the roles are played by sisters, who are not twins but who do in fact look very much alike. “Body Double 16” from this year, puts a lesser known scene of Stanley Kubrick’s very famous 1971 film “A Clockwork Orange” with the very famous naked wrestling scene from Ken Russell’s not-as-famous 1969 film “Women in Love” (Both films, by the way, were banned in England for their content.)

Two of Dellsperger’s primary themes are that of the Body and that of the Double.

To understand Brice Dellsperger’s project a little better, begin by looking at the artist’s use of the name “Body Double” to title all of his films. The name, borrowed from the 1984 feature by Brian De Palma, is also a film production term. A ‘body double’ is a person who stands in for an actor to perform certain types of scenes or to facilitate special effects. Dellsperger points out that it is an individual who takes the place of a famous person, in fact, he even describes himself as a body double for a director.

Dellsperger thinks of his project as an attempt to break down the hierarchical structures of mainstream filmmaking and its attendant star machinery. His productions are shot on digital video, and edited on his home computer. These remakes usually star only one or two people who play every character on screen, lip-synching with the original soundtrack. The collaging of separate pieces of footage of the same person creates slippages that are not unlike Andy Warhol’s mis-registrations. These are often ghost-like and expressive. Brice is at heart a pop artist and his project is intrinsically linked to confusions and appropriations of popular style, consumable culture and celebrity.

The star of “Body Double 16” is artist Jean-Luc Verna, who has a very large, very tattooed and pierced body. He is also the star of Dellsperger’s full-length masterwork “Body Double X,” a remake of Andrzej Zulawski’s 1975 melodrama “The Important Thing Is To Love.” When he stars in Dellsperger’s work, he plays every character on screen, styled and dressed as a transvestite. This creates a replacement for a body, outlined by gender. The viewer is forced to use alternative skills in the act of identification, of naming, just to hold onto the narrative structure of the piece.

Dellsperger’s pieces are numbered upon conception of the piece rather than on completion. The pieces often have a personal agenda at their conception, but the many acts of doubling in their execution often results in negating this along with the agendas of the original film. What are left are the slippages, the reversals and the outlined ideas, through which connections are made – physical, emotional and cultural. These become more important than any notion of an “original,” and therefore superior– text, body, work or idea.

The gallery is owned and operated by painter Lisa Ruyter. We are happy to introduce the director of the gallery, Andreas Fischbacher, who has been an invaluable help from the very beginning of the project. Galerie Lisa Ruyter will open at the same time as a solo show of new works by Ms. Ruyter at Georg Kargl, just around the corner on Schleifmühlgasse.



Artforum: Top Ten

Originally published in Artforum

September 2001, p 48

Lisa Ruyter

Lisa Ruyter, a New York-based artist, exhibited most recently at the Galerie Georg Kargl in Vienna. She is currently working on a solo show due to go on view next year at Berlin’s Arndt & Partner.

  1. Olaf Breuning: Olaf Breuning’s sculptures often look like sets for his photographs, which often look like stills from his films, which often look like documentation of his sculptures. While creating a highly sophisticated, media-unspecific practice, he skirts kitsch, rearranging pop clichés in a way that disrupts any high/low discussion. This fall, New York’s Metro Pictures will be showing Apes, a sculptural installation that debuted at the Kunstverein Freiburg in June.  With a low-tech presentation that includes spooky music, smoke machines, dirt, trees, and primates with glowing eyes, Apes is wholly lacking in irony. You walk away with a pure moment, a stolen pleasure, an embarrasingly sweet feeling.
  2. Jessica Craig-Martin: The formal brutality of Craig-Martin’s flash photography flattens out the deepest space. She might be the photographer Warhol couldn’t be. Shooting people desperate to be seen at parties but with no desire to protect her subjects’ vanity, she opportunistically crops out their primary identifying features – faces, essential body parts. I’m curious to see her work develop now that people know what comes out of her camera. Will the parties change her or will she change parties?
  3. Muntean/Rosenblum: Known for paintings based on magazine photos of teenagers, this collaborative team also makes sculptural installations that include “performances”—a person leaning against a sculpted car or sitting on a handmade workout bench. Coming upon live props can be unnerving, as if you’d discovered the mannequins in a store window were alive. M&R took me to “The Blue Lagoon,” a group of contractor’s model homes located in a lot near the Vienna Ikea. For their next show at Galerie Georg Kargl, the duo will erect a façade based on one of these houses.
  4. Mary Heilmann: In the future, when we ask, “What did an abstract painting look like at the end of the twentieth century?” the answer may well be, “Like a Mary Heilmann.” Her bright, playful abstract canvases never look dated and can handle just about any context. It’s rewarding to see a seasoned pro prove to be hipper than anyone else around.
  5. Brice Dellsperger: Assigning the name Body Double to almost everything he does, Dellsperger remakes specific movie scenes (often from Brian De Palma films), replacing the original actors with pierced transvestites via video collage. He has done the museum cruising scene from Dressed to Kill twice, setting it once in Euro Disney and once in the Kunstmuseum Wiesbaden. Amplifying the effects of De Palma’s constant doubling, he appropriates the work of the master appropriator. Check out, a site created for Body Double X, his recent full-length remake of a popular lowbrow French melodrama from the mid-’70s, in which every role is played by an actor named Jean-Luc Verna. It gets really disorienting, especially when a half-dozen characters are on screen at once.
  6. Kim Sooja:  Kim Sooja makes videos in which she is often at the center of the frame, facing away from the camera, absolutely motionless. This allows us to observe actions around her (and in some cases reactions to her) – a flowing river and the reflections of the sky, a rocky landscape under clouds, a busy street. Her work, which sometimes incorporates multiple-channel projections and installations of bright Korean fabrics, provokes a consideration of the displaced self.
  7. Rachel Harrison: Harrison forces sculpture and photography to live together, however awkwardly, and in so doing, brings up one of the key challenges of modern life: How do we negotiate between physical and depicted space in a world where most lived space also functions as representation, or virtual reality? As place becomes more and more generic, her pictures show us a world where human presence defies the empty repetition of mass-market architecture; when she weds her pictures to a physical structure, the match is at once lifeless and exciting – the art equivalent to being stranded in an airport.
  8. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog: A good way to brush up on these seminal American photographers like Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Russell Lee. But there’s much more than Farm Security Administration images here. The most entertaining way to navigate is to search “all categories / collections” and just type in a few of your favorite things or random words like ‘dream’ or ‘hair.’ The results are fast and fascinating, and the site can put you in touch with the odd idea of being “American.”
  9. Lily van der Stokker: Straddling those twin conceits—the intimate and the public—van der Stokker’s wall paintings and furniture accompaniments function as performance art rather than objets d’art. Her paintings flaunt bright pastel colors and decoratively psychedelic patterns that are unabashedly pleasing, but there’s a conceptual end—a challenge to the role of the artist as pleasure provider— which fits snugly with the decidedly less-than-commercial format of work on walls. Her recent large-scale outdoor commissions, such as The Pink Building, created for Hannover’s Expo 2000, take her funky stuff and makes it epic.
  10. Mitchell Algus Gallery (New York) Algus scours his collection of magazines, catalogues, and textbooks, to rediscover artists who, despite having been fundamental to the development of art trends in the ’60s and ’70s, weren’t written into the canon because they didn’t fit the categories of the moment. With a season timed to draw comparisons between his artists and current, flashy trend-setters, Algus’s increasingly attracts well-respected critics and fashionable artists who are willing to acknowledge the amnesia that goes hand in hand with fashion. No other gallery in New York so convincingly undermines received wisdom—and history.