Magazine article Artforum International

Katharina Sieverding: Galerie Thomas Schulte

Magazine article Artforum International

Katharina Sieverding: Galerie Thomas Schulte

Article excerpt

In her latest solo show, which formed part of the "Forum Expanded" program associated with this year's Berlinale, Katharina Sieverding invited viewers to enter literally into a pictorial space in which--as critic Rainer Bellenbaum noted in a lecture during the film festival--the apparatuses of cinema and art exhibition overlapped. Sieverding projected a randomly controlled digital slide show, Projected Data Images, 2009, directly onto a large wall of the gallery, creating a dynamic surface with fragmentary views of architectural monuments of postwar German history repeated in parallel. These diagonally framed strips appeared in constantly changing constellations, juxtaposed with similarly formalized shots of the artist's own performances and work dating as far back as the 1960s, including iconic self-portraits from 1969-71.

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The sixty-two black-and-white motifs running on four separate channels left viewers with afterimages, inviting them to speculate on the forms and roles of recognition. The steles of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin appeared in bird's-eye view and then sank from sight again; the ruins of the Palast der Republik slanted up at an angle and then vanished--meanwhile, the structure really has vanished to make way for the future reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace, so that history can repeat itself as farce. Hermann Goring's former Ministry of Aviation, now the seat of the German Ministry of Finance and the central office of the Treuhand agency that privatized East German enterprises after the fall of the Berlin wall, was also shown again and again. Amid this rhythmic spectrum of historically symbolic sites, the backpack belonging to Sieverding's teacher Joseph Beuys also made an appearance, along with glamorous pictures of the artist posing like a movie star or making an entrance at her openings, and snapshots showing her famous large-format C-prints being installed. These last components are taken from Sieverding's series "Schichtseite nach unten" (Emulsion Side Down), 1970-2007, in which the artist reworks documents from her archive, dissecting the image of her own body through pictorial fragmentation. …

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