The public space we move through daily is essentially created through commercial imagery. The forms and shapes this imagery takes go far beyond ads and billboards. It has become an architectural force.
Kalinka Gieseler has dedicated her artistic practice exclusively to the spacial arrangements thus created. She sets up pictorial complexes composed of found and re-photographed images that often leave the spectator in doubt as to what is seen, thus examining postmodern politics of representation.
Her works convey a pictorial confusion. They are fragmented, often overtly emphasizing the flatness of the photographic image, or featuring details that infiltrate the desired perfection of these spatial arrangements.
The artist enhances this by layering images taken in different locations or with material found in magazines and catalogues, or by creating arrangements in the exhibition space that resemble those of the commercial spaces in shopping malls, airports, stadiums, outlet-villages, etc., but clearly lack the elements of orientation or communication that they usually contain.
In 2016, during a residency at Goethe Institut Beijing, Kalinka Gieseler dedicated her photographic studies to the visual realities of Beijing, especially the contemporary iconography of its commercial spaces. During she captured the diversity of Beijing’s commercial imagery this research started her fascination with the aesthetics of black and white prints that are omnipresent in Chinese fashion.
One of its characteristic is the Chinese use of English words in an ornamental function – English is perceived as the lingua franca of coolness, as it is being used excessively by fashion brands like Moschino, Supreme or BOY. Slogans like „Not Eccentric Keynote Samtricity“ form visual and sonorous poetry, which at first glance resembles some kind of outlandish code.
Mirroring this pictorial usage of words, Kalinka Gieseler transfers her photographic works from China in the exhibition space. With a similar associative superimposition, she transfers images to a new visual poem of consumption.
This exhibition was made possible by the Goethe Institute China.
I: project space, Beijing
Not Eccintric Keynote Samtricity
by Kalinka Gieseler
19/06 – 15/07/17
Banqiao Hutong 10