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Almine Rech

Ana Karkar Whole Cookie

May 30 — Jul 27, 2024 | London

Opening on Thursday, May 30, 2024 from 6 to 8 pm

Almine Rech London is pleased to present Ana Karkar's second solo exhibition with the gallery, Whole Cookie, on view from 30 May to 27 July 2024.

The exhibition unveils a new series of figurative paintings by the French-American artist, in addition to an installation piece comprised of video, sculpture and literature. Composed as a temple to eroticism, it explores and universalises the many complex paradoxes of Ishtar, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of both love and war, as well as fertility and sensuality. As the goddess of paradox, Ishtar is the model of unity in multiplicity.

Each of us reflects some of her discordance in ourselves, and this exhibition, Whole Cookie, explores how we strive to gather these conflicting parts into a semblance of order. Ishtar’s polarities and contradictions feed the creative spirit, but they also provoke insecurity and disruption. She represents chaos, going against order and principle, however this also opens up to possibility and potential. The destructive and harsh in balance with the empowering and transformative; society coexisting side by side with the cosmic.

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors are faced with the painted image of a sphinx, the guardian of the temple – and its riddle:

MINA (reads): ‘Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permissions of another’?

SPHINX: It’s a Madonna quote. From ‘Justify My Love’… Can we call room service?

MINA: Gosh, yes, I remember the video. Rather a Helmut Newton pornographic soiree situation.

SPHINX: So sick, yeah. I think I was conceived to that, maybe? (Laughs) In the desert.

MINA: Your father was a lion and your mother was an eagle owl— correct?

[Excerpt from an accompanying text written by Charlie Fox]

Press release

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