Spotlight: German Artist Louisa Clement Has Transformed a Milan Gallery Into a Mannequin-Filled Dystopia—See the Oddly Alluring Images Here

"Counterpain" is the artist's first solo exhibition at Cassina Projects.

Installation view
Installation view "Louisa Clement: Counterpain" 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

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What You Need to Know: German artist Louisa Clement’s first solo exhibition, “Counterpain,” at Milan’s Cassina Projects transforms the gallery into an eerie, dystopian world through photography, video, and installation. A work called Representative presents an avatar of the artist herself—an artificial clone made to simulate both Clement’s body and personality. The “personality” of the avatar has been developed based on an algorithmic simulation encoded by a team of the Saarland University led by Vera Dember. The figure itself, meanwhile, was made in collaboration with a sex-doll manufacturer who translated this information into an ultra-realistic life-size thermoplastic elastomer doll supported by a wired aluminum skeleton that enables movements. The uncanny and disquieting work is an artistic investigation into the hybridization and standardization of the human body,

Why We Like It: The exhibition explores a strange and seemingly inevitable future marked by trans-humanism with its disappearing divide between the real and the artificial. “Body Fallacy,” a new series of photographs, presents images of the doll’s nude body at a variety of angles, some of which are alarmingly hard to distinguish from that of a real person. Clement’s works Gliedermensch and Disruption, meanwhile, employ mannequins as foreboding symbols of dehumanization, but in which this lifelessness is counteracted by an eerie aspect of allure. 

Through these varied artistic experiments, Clement focuses on the commodification of both identity and thought, but, while foreboding, her works are not resigned. In fact, Clement perceives her creations as radical attempts to draw attention to the nuances and vulnerable intricacies of our human behavior, against the tide of data that tries to monetize them.

What the Gallery Says: “Existential questionings concerning the binary notion of self and other resonate as Clement explores the dichotomy of the digital age—absence and presence, online and offline, integration and isolation—morphing our existence and critically reshaping paradigms of individuality and consciousness. Addressing the ethical, philosophical, social, and legal implications inherent to the recognition of the self at a point in time when technology and social media enact valid extensions of our persona, her AI-equipped, sexually functional doppelganger also lays bare issues of control and authority in the sphere of interdependence between human experience and machine learning.”

See images from the exhibition below.

Installation view "Louisa Clement: Counterpain" 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Porjects.

Installation view “Louisa Clement: Counterpain” 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Installation view "Louisa Clement: Counterpain" 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Installation view “Louisa Clement: Counterpain” 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Installation view "Louisa Clement: Counterpain" 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Installation view “Louisa Clement: Counterpain” 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Installation view "Louisa Clement: Counterpain" 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Installation view “Louisa Clement: Counterpain” 2021. Courtesy of Cassina Projects.

Louisa Clement: Counterpain” is on view at Cassina Projects, Milan, through January 15, 2022.


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