Amalia Ulman presents a new iteration of Dignity at Frieze Los Angeles 2020, transformed the work into a into a photography experience and installation in collaboration with Birkenstock.
Forming part of Ulman’s multifaceted, durational performance Privilege (2015-8), this is the first the work will be shown in LA, the city in which the artist devised it and where until very recently she lived and worked. The collaboration celebrates the launch of Birkenstock’s 1774 collection, at fair partner Matches from February 13th to 16th, and online at matchesfashion.com.
An intense, blue-hued space in which the viewer’s self-consciousness is heightened, the installation features velvet drapes and office-style tiles (a reference to the Downtown LA office portrayed throughout elements of Privilege), disrupted by a illusionistic sky motif. A stainless steel, cane-shaped stripper’s pole descends from ceiling to floor, a coded reference to a 2013 bus crash that left Ulman walking with the use of a cane, and the pole-dancing lessons she undertook during the production of her acclaimed internet performance Excellences & Perfections (2014).
For the iteration at Frieze Los Angeles, Ulman has collaborated with Birkenstock to incorporate a photobooth camera in the space for visitors to use and take away photos. The addition of this element dramatizes the work’s exploration of selfhood and performance, mythology and authenticity: themes which resonate in the context of Frieze Los Angeles, an art fair presented on a working movie lot.
Birkenstock 1774 is a new creative studio in Paris, leveraging innovation with partnerships and special projects underlining the free and democratic spirit of Birkenstock.
Main image: Amalia Ulman, Intolerance, 2017. Installation view detail at Barro, Buenos Aires, 2017. Courtesy: the artist.