August 6th to October 16th 2016
Opening: August 5th 2016, 7:30 p.m.
The final exhibition of the thematic series concerning “Thing Art” at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, is devoted to the Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger (b. 1974). It presents a selection of her work from the past ten years in conjunction with a parcours adapted especially to the spatial situation in the Kunstverein. As such Prodger focuses attention on the tension relationship between the individual works in and of themselves and the context inevitably produced in an exhibition. The artist conceives the exhibition in this sense very deliberately as a format that is to be produced and addressed.
Prodger’s artistic practice is on the whole characterised by her works’ finely tuned connections between their respective display mode (the particular manner in which the respective work manifests itself) and their respective theme, consequently between object and subject matter (the usual and exceedingly descriptive idiomatic term for qualitatively different input on a material and immaterial level). Their material presence as well as the inherent referential and semantic levels they convey generate at once a contrast that is literally brutal to watch but which stands for the subtle relationships between what we, for want of better terms, traditionally refer to as ‘form’ and ‘content.’
In the process, Charlotte Prodger by all means incorporates mechanical technical devices and technology in a two-fold sense: while technology (regardless of whether it concerns a mass of colour, a welded metal base or a special presentation monitor) usually serves the representation or execution of an artistic content, Prodger’s artistic practice focuses attention on it at the same time as a technological conceptual subtext. In their combination of monitors and players – placed on precisely fitting base shelves produced for this purpose – along with the respective cable system with the diverse film sequences made by the artist by means of different filmic techniques, the literally media-based sculptures also always concern in terms of content the reciprocal interpenetration of actions, acts and performances as well as the techniques that influenced them or were influenced by them, respectively.
The artist explores the form and appearance of plants in her photographs, contrasting the morphologies won in this way with the codes deriving from external parameters which are applied onto the elaborate framing of the pictures and in turn enter into a reciprocal relationship to the space or to the work’s placement in the exhibition. Multifaceted, divergent and simultaneously manifestly illuminating connections emerge between thing and art, conceptually substantiating both aptly and wilfully on the one hand but nevertheless not necessarily encountering each other as resolvable – in the sense of a solution.