Rita Ackermann, Monster! Do You Realize I Am In Love?, Collage on paper, 20 x 25", © Rita Ackermann, Photo by Chris Burke.
Rita Ackermann, Untitled, 2006, Pencil on paper with pencil on velum overlay, 17 x 14", © Rita Ackermann, Photo by Tom Powel.
Rita Ackermann, Where The Cowboys Are..., 1995, Collage on paper, 14 x 11", © Rita Ackermann.
Andrea Rosen Gallery
525 West 24 Street
Don't Give Me Salad (Nurses)
September 13-October 18, 2008
By AGATHE SNOW
So much can be said of nurses so much can be said of the job, the outfit, the functions, the takings, the checks, the codes, the patients, so much can be said of nurses as a core, never as one a monster of method, standardized motion, a monster that looks exactly like a perfectly normal woman and somehow anyone who has ever dared a real look can testify that they could not believe their eyes or that they felt their vision blurry, a certain blindness, felt their pupils dilating and retracting at great speed. Collected testimonies all speak of many heads, two-way mirrors, tainted windows, smoke, one- sided conversations and two-dimensionality, other life, second life, mirage. As in a photograph out of focus one sees and yet can't tell. But most like the image and the shapes.
Nurses are front and back. Nurses don't have profiles and they have nothing in between... What is flagrant of nurses and accounts, rendering and all interests of any format for a profession that deals in fact of fact and facts their reports and attentive charting and curbs measures and so on and so forth, it is only spoken of in fictional terms.
As if the nurse blurs the line between fact and fiction and that's exactly what is asked of her. All of fiction and two dimensional, Rita's nurses should then, not be thought any less qualified or much different in volume, depth and ultimate function than any other certified nurse. Yet all nurse, they are many. And contrary to the archetypal nurse taught in method and wearing the uniform, they specialize. And more to the point if they were all to be confounded in one, they would not be nurse. One could almost say that of the sum of or of the combining of their targeted expertise they would form the ultimate nurse, the nurse equivalent to what is said of mother, as in, mother-nature.
Let's call her, NURSE NATURE, naturally.
Well, that would suppose nursing their profession of choice, their profession, par excellence. That would suppose, a unanimous compliance to meet, as one. That would suppose a propensity to understand concept and abstraction, just like you and me.
Which unless you are very different creature of mind than me or have powers I'm at a loss for, it is very likely you've never struggled with abstractions the way they do. There struggles is that of anyone who just doesn't remember how to let their mind go and let's "make believe". All abstractions need to be actualized and once solid every possibility needs to be scrutinizes, so that of all and any discovery you can be sure will be made nil at the turn of the solid. Of all abstraction they need a proof and a way.
Their process is just as fascinating, as it is terrifying, just as aggravating and just as concerning a spectacle/a debacle, as it is easily forgotten, all its parts driven to balance, it all always of all its part adds up to nothing. It is, of its nature, completely, devoid, of meaning.
Rita Ackermann has recently been included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial as well as in group exhibitions at Le Magasin, Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and ZKM-KARLSRHUE.
Rita Ackermann, Golden Age, 2007, Pastel on paper, 75.6 x 56.5 cm.
Rita Ackermann, Morphing Morphine, 2010, Oil, enamel, spray paint, oil stick, glass, rabit skin, glue, molding paste on canvas, 289.2 x 210.8 cm.