|Author/Contributor(s):||Hubbard, Teresa ; Birchler, Alexander ; Barron, Stephanie ; Connolly, Maeve ; Kaiser, Philipp ; Vegh, Christina ; Hubbard, Teresa ; Birchler, Alexander|
In the Swiss Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, the Swiss American artist duo Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler (born 1965 and 1962 respectively) presented Flora and Bust, exploring the life of the unknown American artist Flora Mayo, with whom Alberto Giacometti had a love affair in Paris in the 1920s. While Giacometti is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, Mayo's oeuvre has been destroyed, her biography relegated to a footnote in Giacometti scholarship. In this acclaimed work, which had its American premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in 2019, Hubbard / Birchler reframe Mayo's history through a feminist perspective that interweaves reconstruction, reenactment and documentary into a hybrid form of storytelling. Flora, a double-sided film installation, is conceived as a conversation between Mayo and her son, David, whom the artists discovered living near Los Angeles. The work generates a multifaceted dialogue between a mother and son, Mayo and Giacometti, Paris and Los Angeles, and past and present. This richly illustrated book depicts the journey of Hubbard / Birchler's process and is accompanied by a transcript of the film installation, a visual chronology of Flora Mayo's life, and conversations with the artists.