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Double Bind Paperback – 2015
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The book Double Bind documents conversations between artist Leigh Ledare and art historian Rhea Anastas, provoked by viewing Ledare’s project of the same name as installed at The Box in Los Angeles (2012) and Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York (2014). Ledare's installation puts in play a series of overlaying comparative structures: it juxtaposes nearly one-thousand photographs of the artist's ex-wife (half taken by Ledare, half taken by her current husband, according to a script conceived by Ledare and enacted by all three), with a large collection of appropriated mass-media materials. In their wide-ranging critical dialogue, Ledare and Anastas probe the complexities of viewing Double Bind’s intimate performances and prolific imagery—from experiences of sensory overload or irritation, to notes of pleasure and humor—enlisting sexual-difference critiques along with a heterogeneous set of cultural and theoretical positions. Arranged in six sections, the dialogue addresses key concepts that structure Double Bind (as well as Ledare’s practice broadly): viewing, systemic conditions, enactment, installation and mass media, genealogy, and affect. Installation views of the New York exhibition, taken by Ledare exclusively for this book, foreground the subjective nature of experiencing the work, and anchor the coauthors’ open testing of present-day models of aesthetic and social critique within an ethics of actually looking. The dialogue also appears with an introduction by Anastas, a preface by Ledare, and a chronology of Double Bind exhibitions and publications to date.
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