The Convent of Pleasure
October 22 — November 19, 2023
curated by Alexander Puetz & Wiebke Wesselmann | You Might Also Like e.V.
at Moltkerei Werkstatt
Special thanks to
Bernhard Adams, Julia Woll and all Volunteers
photos: Bernhard Adams
kindly supported by medienwerk.nrw and Où j’ai grandi
In her solo show The Convent of Pleasure – Prolog the artist Ani Schulze presents the premiere of her video work of the same name, which is set up as a multi-part soap opera. The exhibition is accompanied by new paintings and ceramics.
In the first episode, The Beginning, masked characters based on the artists Marie Vassilieff (1884–1957) and Abigail de Paiva Cruz (1883–1944), together with the mantis Le Mante, found The Convent of Pleasure in Paris. The hand puppets Facil- Le Gendarme, Adviser- The Donkey, Take-pleasure- Le Philosophe and Court- The Artist try to violently at invade into the convent. The climax and turning point of the opening narrative takes place with a sensual, expansive costume party.
Ani Schulze weaves various narrative layers in her video work. The statically enthroned praying mantis, Le Mante, appears to conduct the strands of the narration in her hand. The masks of the artists present themselves in a form of reality that takes place here, while the hand puppets merge in a painterly-conspiratorial circling. The scenes, partly lulling in their security, evoke the thought of a tipping point, supported by a clinking sound backdrop. The visual layers testify to a virtual and painterly quality that divides the strands of the plot but connects them in their substance.
The Convent of Pleasure is based on the 1668 comedy of the same name by Margaret Cavendish: A group of women decide not to marry and found a community without men – the titular convent. In Ani Schulze’s video work, real images of the Seine metropolis, animated images and in-between worlds blur into puppet-like sceneries. Artistic works and anecdotes as well as real stories from the lives of the mentioned and further artists, such as of Germaine Richier (1902–1959) emerge. All of them lived in Paris for a time.
The Convent of Pleasure – Prologue is the first act and preview for an exhibition and extensive installation with several episodes to follow in 2024, which will also be presented in the Moltkerei Werkstatt. In spring 2024, a new part will be created in Buenos Aires, Argentina.