Read a short piece on Nadja Bournonville’s exhibition in The New Yorker —
The Berlin-based photographer shows a series inspired by pictures of female patients diagnosed with hysteria at a Paris hospital in the eighteen-nineties. Bournonville’s staged scenarios and still-lifes are marvellously bizarre—more comic than disturbing (although one image echoes that of the hooded prisoner on the box at Abu Ghraib). Several recall Jimmy De Sana’s clownish bondage self-portraits. Bodies are fragmented or disguised (a nude figure covered with prosthetic breasts and metal cones looks like a turkey ready for basting); objects, cobbled together in unlikely assemblages, assume antic personalities. Investigating outmoded ideas of uncontrollable women, Bournonville taps into something truly wild. Through April 21.