Desiree Dolron: Prelude: Forever Someone Else

Installation Views
Press release

GRIMM is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Desiree Dolron (NL, 1963) focused on photographs documenting her extensive travels. The exhibition is a prelude to a larger body of work that will be the subject of a new monograph, scheduled for publication in 2020.

The title Forever Someone Else refers to a book of selected poems by Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), a writer, philosopher, mystic and astrologer. Pessoa employed as many as 75 alter egos, referred to as heteronyms, which he deployed at will to disseminate various philosophical and theoretical views.

This exhibition lifts the veil of a body of never previously exhibited work by Dolron. Included are various self-portraits in such distinct environments that each becomes like an alter ego of the artist, functioning much like Pessoa’s heteronyms. The viewer is witness to the artist adapting, changing and evolving with each situation.

Starting with works from 1991, the exhibition shows photographs taken in Pakistan and India depicting Romani, the world’s oldest roaming nomad tribe. We see proud people looking defiantly into the camera. The earliest self-portrait in the exhibition shows Dolron when she returned to the site in 1997, posing with an AK-47 amidst child soldiers.

In stark contrast is a group of images taken that same year (1997) from the Wigstock festival in New York City: groups of celebrating drag queens with big hair and selfmade eccen- tric hats, Desiree happily posing with one of them in another self-portrait.

Three individual, powerful images are shown on another wall; a speeding car, symbol of the American dream, taken in Cuba (2002), a beautiful girl from the Dominican Republic looking melancholically into the camera (2001) and a desert landscape at night in California (1990); the blacks intense, the light subdued.

What unites all the exhibited images is that they are all about dreams, of people in pursuit of happiness. Pessoa treasured the ‘dream’ as the highest attainable, the rest only a means to get there and we see the same here through Dolron’s lense. ‘Prelude (Forever Someone Else)’ embodies a sense of be- coming that binds these works together. Everything is in a state of flux.

“I know not what tomorrow will bring”
– Pessoa’s last writing, he died the next day, November 30th, 1935.