Dennis Oppenheim - Feedback: Parent-Child Projects from the 70s
Known for his Land Art work, the pioneering American artist Dennis Oppenheim moved from large-scale Earthworks to contained works with and about his body. These performance works included explorations of identity and temporality and then extended to include his family. He began making work with his wife and three children in 1970, in what became series of conceptual projects that are the focus of this show.
The exhibition brings together a selection of video and photo documentation of the performances. In 2 -Stage Transfer Drawing. (Advancing to a Future State)…. (Returning to a Past State). , 1971, the artist and his son stand behind, and then in front of each other. Oppenheim uses a marker to draw on the skin of his son’s back and Erik interprets the sensation, transferring it to the wall (Advancing to a Future State) . Oppenheim then then interprets the feeling of Erik’s drawing on his back, transferring it to the wall (Returning to a Past State) . In using his father’s body, Erik moves forward in time, and Oppenheim moves backward in time using his son’s body, making a poignant statement about family relations, projection, desire and the nature of the act of drawing itself.