Third Person

COCA Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch NZ — 2010

A procession of glass and concrete forms move – in materials and mass, from light to dark, into the depths of the long front gallery. Embodying the rubric 'I/First', each artwork speaks to the presence and absence of third and subsequent persons. The Maquettes are 'read through' one another, three personae or masks that reveal and conceal sex and strategy: Rrose Selavy (Duchamp's female alter-ego), M. Le Blanc (a male nom de plume adopted by the C18th revolutionary French mathematician Sophie Germain), and the black-cloaked Portia (the protagonist and heroine played by a male actor in Shakespeare's race-fuelled satire The Merchant of Venice). Like Greek Muses, The Maquettes line up – backing vocalists to two lead characters, the I-heroes or gods of Untitled (mounting / splitting a white cube), and the wall-hung black and blue Je suis. Dissolving boundaries between subject and object, at one level Third Person looks at the transformative potential within personality, identity and agency.