Orange Dress, 2013 Grace Schwindt

90 x 110 x 100 cm silk & steel wire Courtesy of the Artist; ZenoX, Antwerp Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

The sculpture Orange Dress is from the 2013 film Tenant. This film addresses an important social theme, which is dealt with in the form of an individual story. Against the backdrop of Frau Schumacher’s life, who is a communist who helped Vladimir Lenin travel from Switzerland to Russia at the beginning of the February revolution, this film is about oppressive family dynamics in a traditional German family. The film describes both the typical household routines and also the underlying relationships between the relatives. In this film Schwindt explores the role that language and movements play in the social relationships and, more specifically, in acquiring knowledge. One of the performers in the film Tenant is wearing a wonderful yellow silk dress with a pleated skirt. It’s as if this woman is about to go dancing at a ball. However, the opposite is true. This woman can’t move an inch and is caught in a web of threads. She is like a puppet being controlled by a puppeteer. Does this sculpture refer to the individual who feels caught and who is not able to make decisions independently? This is a situation that makes us feel insecure and vulnerable.

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