Paintings that picture the female gaze looking onto “herself” becoming a man who in turn embodies the rhetorical gaze of the viewer who is, meanwhile, consuming both. Multiple women and one man; a seemingly classic power structure. How many women have been the object of painting? How many “girls” sell the work (back to the delicious Picabia)? And who is this effete, corporate-suited “Graham,” seeing himself as a girl in a skirt or panties actively posing à la théorie de la jeune-fille ? This is fantasy. This is the controlled choreography of Capitalism. This is not desire. This is Carpenter presenting farce feeding itself to us, presenting Carpenter as the artist. If the girl is the subject in the act of looking at herself for others, she has been hijacked by this Tony Blair-looking businessman in the bathroom mirror; who does not dominate necessarily, but does manage to undermine the subject of our looking. We are complicit. – The Man In The Mirror, Sarah Morris on Merlin Carpenter at Galerie Neu, Berlin, Texte Zur Kunst n°107



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