Lorenza Longhi

Minuet of Manners


Minuet of Manners is a one-person exhibition by artist Lorenza Longhi. Her installation involves every element in the gallery, from the furniture to the hanging method as well as the paintings themselves. When surrounded by these elements, the visitor is invited to consider how they look at art – or indeed everything around them. As the title suggests, Longhi leads us in a dance; how we move relates to art spaces and other contexts. How do we behave in a museum? Is it the same as in a shop? Or at home? And how did the artist move when she created these works?

Videodocumentation by Vernissage TV:

You read Lorenza Longhi’s work differently depending on who you are. This, however, is the case for art per se: its meaning is reliant upon one’s perspective and this varies depending upon where you are from, your gender, class and mood. This makes art, just like football, Beethoven or fashion, so interesting – or indeed not. Given that you are currently reading this text, the chances are that you are interested in art. You visit exhibitions, look at art, discuss, enjoy or collect it because it makes your life better and opens doors into other worlds. In short, because it makes you think, and thinking is fun. Art equips us, as if in passing, with tools to rethink our thinking. We can free ourselves from familiar trains of thought; this might posit change to society, or to the idea of beauty.

What has this to do with Lorenza Longhi’s work? Maybe a great deal, maybe not much, it depends on your perspective. The exhibition title indicates that looking at art always relies on thinking patterns; it’s a minuet of manners. The minuet, a French dance and a musical form, defines, through rhythm and melody, how bodies move in space and how dancers come into contact with one another. The minuet creates a framework for interaction which occurs and then dissipates, yet is always a space for interpretation. What is key is the movement, for this is what connects and dissolves, just like thought binds and releases. Thinking is thus movement and movement is thinking. An interplay develops between analysis and adherence, rejection and acceptance, distance and chaos, closeness and freedom, elegance and cadence, a minuet of behaviours therefore, a minuet of manners.

Every exhibition is a minuet: visitors come into contact with art and engage in a dance with it. Not only with the work, but with the space and other visitors too. And the art equally exists in relation with the space, it presents itself and waits to be seen and absorbed. This can of course fail, or be dull, or ignite passion and incite a desire to possess the work or provoke rejection and strong emotions. Presentation plays an important role.

(Excerpt from the exhibition text by Daniel Baumann)

The Kunsthalle Zürich exhibition presents the most recent paintings and sculptures from the artist who was born in Italy in 1991 and currently lives in Zürich.