D-L Alvarez at Derek Eller

D-L ALvarez Occasion to be Denounced 2007 crepe paper installation, dimensions variable [large detail of installation]

D-L ALvarez Something to Cry About 2007 children's clothing, dimensions variable [large detail of installation, with detail of "The Closet" behind]

D-L Alvarez is showing five very dissimilar new works in the Berlin-based American's latest solo show at Derek Eller, "Parents' Day".

It's an elegant installation of beautiful objects. At the opening reception they each managed to evoke for this visitor personal memories independent of the artist's own allusions: My imagination couldn't wait to run with the show's title, and with the nearly-total abstractions of a large series of pencil drawings with the title, "The Closet". An excerpt from the press release however, read after seeing the work, sheds some light on where the artist himself is on the two pieces which dominate the images seen above:

Beginning with the show's title and the piece, Occasion to be Denounced (2007), Alvarez sets the tone of celebrating a special occasion. Made entirely of crepe paper, Occasion to be Denounced (2007) underlines the fragility of such situations. Celebration in the genre of slasher films is a common motif, implemented in the titles of films such as Happy Birthday to Me, Mother's Day, and Silent Night Deadly Night. The later was controversial for depicting a killer in a Santa suit, which brings to light another common theme of the genre: that the killer's identity, including often his or her gender, is almost always disguised.

The costumes that Alvarez provides in Something to Cry About (2007) might well belong to the Mom and Dad of Parents' Day. They are cheery in appearance, but also completely concealing: each of the two uniforms having been sewn from several of children's clothes.

The statement ends with a reference to the artist's inspiration for the show:
Alvarez is less interested in the spectacle of crime as in the cultural history crime forges. A truly American genre, slasher films of the 70s and 80s connected to already existing cultural drifts. They reflect the violation of innocence exemplified by the transition that took place at the end of the sixties when paranoia replaced free love
I've come this far with absolutely no interest in slasher films (I'm not even sure I ever really enjoyed (is that the right word?) Hitchcock's textbook classic, "Psycho", but if I would hope to learn more about the genre, I now know to whom I would turn. I've always had a great respect for Alvarez's intelligence and imaginative insight, so I also know I could learn much from the artist who could create this show about an era, and a "transition", which was very much my own.