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Tina Braegger

A spin in the laundromat, 2023

oil on canvas
32 x 26 x 4cm
About Tina Braegger
Tina Braegger (b. 1985, Lucerne) lives and works in Berlin and Zurich. She is a conceptual artist whose work addresses questions related to originality, reproduction, authenticity, repetition, and difference. Since 2017, she has explored these topics through the motif of the „dancing bear,” a bootleg drawing that became an emblem of the American rock band The Grateful Dead in the 1970s. Braegger’s attraction to the bear has little to do with the band‘s music. Instead, her painting practice conceptually engages with how this counterfeit symbol inverts notions of official and unofficial, original and copy. In Braegger’s paintings, as in the concert parking lots that spawned countless variations of this figure, the bear operates according to the logic of the bootleg. The dancing bear absorbs, sponge-like, characteristics that it encounters through the process of its circulation, canonization, and its own fluctuating values—which Braegger addresses in her endless painterly permutations of this figure. As critic Francesco Tenaglia notes, „It is always there, in one form or another, and it defines the way painting reinvents it, reacts against it, ignores it, or digests it. It is a logo, a mannerism, a trigger, and a grid.“