Laine Rettmer

Sept. 7- Oct. 21
Opening Reception: Friday, Sept. 7, 7-9PM

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A R E A is pleased to present Laine Rettmer’s debut solo exhibition White Rush. With an allusion to W.B. Yeats’ “Leda and the Swan,” White Rush draws on classical motifs as a means to examine question of power, gender, visibility, celebrity and historical permanence.

The exhibition is anchored by About A Girl, a two-channel video work in which the artist inhabits the roles of the mythological Leda and grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain.  These videos—which incorporate elements from narrative cinema, music video and experimental film—examine the inherently gendered processes through which cultural stories congeal into collective, historical meaning. A related suite of sculptures, fabricated out of feathers and steel, evoke fragments of human, animal and mechanical bodies, play with tensions between representation and abstraction through their material combinations and at once alien and familiar contusions.

The exhibition opening will also feature an original operatic work written by Rettmer and composed by the award winning John Aylward. Soprano Aliana de la Guardia will star in the role of Leda.


Laine Rettmer is a video artist and opera director whose work explores performance, gender, and methods of social control. Her work has been shown at The Clay Arts Center (2018), the Museum of Fine Art (2017), the Boston Independent Film Festival (2017), FPAC (2017), Manifesta (2016), Yuan Art Museum (2016), Yve Yang Gallery (2016), Perkins and Ping (2016), Present Company (2015), NADA NY, NADA Presents, (2014). For the past four years she was the resident stage director for the New York based company LoftOpera, with whom her Macbeth last December received a Freddie Award for best new production, and her Barber of Seville was named one of the top 10 classical music productions of 2014 by the New York Times. Recent awards received include a MAP Fund grant for a collaborative opera, Standby Snow: Chronicle of a Heat Wave, a Fellowship from the Center for Arts Design and Social Research, a Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, an Art School Alliance Fellowship from HFBK Hamburg and a residency at Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts in Iceland. Rettmer is currently a Residential Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and teaching at Northeastern University. She holds a BFA from New York University and a MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.