Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless presented by Red Bull Arts New York is the first posthumous retrospective of the life and work of the influential, multi-disciplinary artist. It opened to the public on March 6, 2019, remaining on view through July 28. The ambitious exhibition returns the spotlight to one of contemporary art’s most prescient figures, detailing her historic importance and contemporary relevance.
In working with time-based media conservator Maurice Schechter, the exhibition includes newly digitized works, such as Reality Fever, which hasn’t been seen since Bender’s first solo exhibition at the artist-run gallery Nature Morte in 1983; Flash Art (1987), her complex feminist engagement with women’s ability to self-fashion their image within the context of misogyny; and her master work Total Recall (1987), which has been remastered for its most historically faithful posthumous presentation to date. Installations such as Wild Dead 1-3 (1984), one of the artist’s earliest multi-monitor experiments, and Aggressive Witness – Active Participant (1990), a 12-monitor installation originally commissioned by the Wexner Center, have also been discovered in the archive, remastered, and restaged with the help of historical documentation for the first time in decades since their initial showings.
Cultural Counsel provided support with the exhibition's public programs which included an excerpt and reprisal of Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company’s canonical work, Still/Here (1994), a performance which featured a video score and set design by Bender, a live score of Bender’s largest work of “electronic theatre,” Total Recall (1987), performed by the original composer Stuart Argabright, exhibition tours, artist talks, film and video screenings, as well as facilitating an intimate collaborative dinner between Red Bull Arts New York and Topical Cream.
Photos by Lance Brewer. All artwork © The Gretchen Bender Estate and Courtesy of OSMOS.
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