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Sean Landers

New Work

13 May – 25 June 1994


13 May – 25 June 1994

Testing the boundaries of what can be considered acceptable as subject matter for art, Sean Landers creates paintings, sculptures and videos that are both confrontational and humorous. In his video Remissionem Peccatorum (1994) presented at White Cube, Landers is witnessed stripping, with narcissistic languor, to the accompaniment of an operatic aria; then uses his belt to give himself a beating. Landers casts himself in the role of martyr, one who sets out to fail before the weight of art history. This act of naked self-flagellation both co-opts and parodies the endurance-based performance art of the 1970s, enacting a bizarre Baroque-Catholic spectacle that has distinct sadomasochistic overtones. Four wizened terracotta heads set on plinths, act as witnesses to this performance. They not only represent the artist’s grandparents—motifs of middle-class respectability—but also serve as an ever-present, disapproving audience.

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