Claudia Groeflin Galerie is proud to present the US-American artist Jen DeNike’s
(*1971, lives and works in New York) first solo exhibition in Switzerland. The artist
will be showing two performances, which have recently had their world premiere at
MoMA New York, as well as their European debut at the Julia Stoschek Collection in
Düsseldorf, and new collages.

Jen DeNike’s oeuvre encompasses a range of media, including photography, video
installation, performance and collage. DeNike’s work often takes on the subject of
choreography, more specifically choreography within a frame, movements and actions
taking place within that frame. Inspired by George Balanchine, who advanced and
transformed the scope of the classical ballet tradition according to new body
consciousness and expressive experience of the 20th century, DeNike accomplishes
the integration of classical ballet into contemporary art in her most recent work.
In addition to exploring themes of ritual, myth, and movement in her work, the
artist is particularly fascinated by the specific vocabulary of ballet, and has
incorporated this vernacular into her dance performances. In her current solo
exhibition at Claudia Groeflin Galerie, DeNike explores a form of spiritual
communication called ‘scrying’, which is used to gain insight into certain situations,
to foretell the future or discover the past, and to find lost objects or persons. The
scryer gains visions for divination through the use of physical mediums such as
water, mirrors, crystals or other reflective objects. Jen DeNike uses this rich
framework as inspiration for her dance performances. In Another Circle, a video
projection of a ballerina in a classical tutu and point shoes turns seemingly
endlessly, while at the opening reception a live ballerina mirrors and reacts to
the projection - a physical enactment of scrying. The ballerina performs in front of
the projection, creating a constant interplay between the real and the projected
scenario, to some extent appearing as a duet, and to another extent becoming a
moving tableau of her own moving image. Hydromancy, part performance and part
sculptural installation, explores water as a medium for scrying. At the opening
reception, a nude performer moves ever so slightly in the midst of concentric
circles made up of bowls filled with water. The performer peers into and around
the round mirror she holds in her hands, conjuring divination through the water
surrounding her.

A former student of Stephen Shore, Jen DeNike’s work has been exhibited
internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Tensta
Konsthall, Julia Stoschek Collection, Duve Berlin, The Company, Smith-Stewart,
and KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin. DeNike has had group exhibitions at
PS1/MoMA, The Brooklyn Museum, Lisa Cooley Gallery, Mary Boone Gallery, the
Houston Museum of Contemporary Art and Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Her work is in
the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Julia Stoschek

Text: Sara Forsythe