Agathe Snow b. 1976, Corsica
Curtain rods, carabiner, papier-mâché, acrylic, jacket, plastic, thread, and ceramic
100 x 29 x 29 inches (254 x 73.7 x 73.7 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Young Collectors Council, 2008
2008 Agathe Snow. Installation view: Agathe Snow: All Access World, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, January 28–March 30, 2011. Photo: Mathias Schormann © Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin
Agathe Snow's work balances visions of apocalypse and entropic decay with an earnest faith in the redemptive power of human ingenuity and community. Her performances, ranging from carnivalesque banquets to her legendary dance marathons, operate as scenarios for uninhibited social exchange, always enacted with a fierce conceptual commitment. Performative elements and elaborate fictions also underpin Snow's sculptural installations, which she fashions from an exuberant array of debris scavenged from local streets. With the transformative addition of paint, plaster, and collage, she coaxes her found objects and their attendant histories into evocative new forms that frequently develop and mutate over the course of an exhibition. Demonstrating the artist's sustained fascination with mythic structures, Goldfinch is drawn from a body of work inspired by the fables of Leonardo da Vinci, in which she elucidates a relationship between Renaissance ideas and the modern paradigm of the American Dream. In this hanging mobile, painted papier-mâché bunnies—redolent of Jeff Koons's iconic 1986 sculpture Rabbit—are combined with an inverted silhouette of a girl's profile, an old sweater, and kitschy religious icons in a moment of tense suspended animation that evokes a tangle of narrative associations.