press release

Some Kind of Heaven comes to the South London Gallery from the Kunsthalle Nurnberg, where the work of this striking group of international women artists was greeted with acclaim. The exhibition contains the work of Rita Ackerman (USA), Vanessa Beecroft (Italy), Ute Behrend (Germany), Sylvie Fleury (Switzerland), Jun Hasegawa (Japan/UK), Mariko Mori (Japan/USA), Elizabeth Peyton (USA), Liza May Post (Netherlands), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), Georgina Starr (UK), and Jane and Louise Wilson (UK).

These artists represent a generation which grew up in the 1970s, a decade when individuals were exposed on a wide scale to television images, films and magazine spreads. The glamour of popular culture provides the impetus for much of this new work, although below the superficial and the banal is an undercurrent of romance and humour.

Some pieces in the exhibition have a devotional and fetishistic relationship with contemporary culture: there is a deliberate simplification of form and content, with cartoon-like cut outs, or mimicry of icons of fashion or pop culture. A blending of love and desire, fiction and reality offers information rather than answers.

Underneath the cuteness that is inherent in much of this work, there is also a serious analysis of gender and the construction of fantasy. The superficial sense of girlish helplessness masks a conscious manipulation of image and stereotype.

Some Kind Of Heaven extends the debate about issues of gender beyond those prominent in the seventies and eighties into an arena that has absorbed the anger of Bad Girls and moved into a condition where women are happy to be girls but where the idea is redefined. The notion of girl is developed into something potent by imagery that was once dismissed as trivial, and has now inherited a new relevance.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, in English and German, containing an interview with each artist by Sadie Coles, a text on popular culture by Jon Savage and essay on the exhibition theme by Eva Meyer-Hermann.

The video programme which reflects the themes of the exhibition includes Janine Antoni (Bahamas), Alex Bag (US), Tracey Emin, Carl Freedman, Georgina Starr and Gillian Wearing (UK), Sylvie Fleury, Georgie Hopton (UK), Hilary Lloyd (UK) and Pipilotti Rist.

only in german

Some Kind of Heaven
Kuratoren: Eva Meyer-Hermann, Sadie Coles

Künstler: Elizabeth Peyton, Georgina Starr, Jane & Louise Wilson, Jun Hasegawa, Liza May Post, Mariko Mori, Pipilotti Rist, Rita Ackermann, Sylvie Fleury, Ute Behrend, Vanessa Beecroft