WATCH OUT #3: Lisa Klosterkötter on Amy Stober
WATCH OUT is an ongoing series in which curators present young artistic positions that they find exciting. Selected by Yvonne Scheja.
First time I met Amy Stober at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City last December to explore together the exhibition of Thierry Mugler's life's work. A shared fascination with fashion, textiles and details, accessories and diverse attachments guided us through the retrospective.
Over the past few years, Amy Stober has been working on a series of upturned bags hung on the wall that function as image supports for her paintings. The objects are duplicates of the artist's own clothing cast in polyurethane.
For me, the works represent a close dialogue between the outward appearance, the supposedly everyday protective cover that these cases are by their original function, and intimate revelations: The undersides of the bags are painted with collage-like scenes from Stober's memories and personal archives such as collages of teenage diaries, overlapping photographs and postcards formerly hanging on refrigerator’s doors. The bottoms of bags, which normally roam the dirty floors of subways, supermarkets and car parks, are centrally highlighted through the paintings.
The process of bulging out memories, images of the past, former secrets of previous seasons of life, onto the exteriors of the bags are a consistent interplay between inner and outer places. For me, the works are not only a depiction of the "coming of age" through the chosen motifs and sources of inspiration, but also the impulse to carry the hidden, one's own emotional levels to the outside. They make them visible through clothing, accessories and make-up, as well as to clarify affiliations, is often a typical characteristic of the teenage years. So is the practice of painting, signing clothes, backpacks and public places.
The outside wall of a bag is a public place, or at least a place that allows communication with the outside. In the essay "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction", Ursula K. Le Guin describes not only how the bag as an object ensured effective work for collectors and thus the survival of humanity, but also how it serves as a carrying container for fiction.
Lisa Klosterkötter is a freelance curator based in Cologne. She has realised various exhibitions, performance projects and interventions in Hamburg, Marseille, Seoul a.o. In collaboration with Elena Malzew, she initiated the ongoing exhibition format Gegenwart: Doing Youth as well as the series Über Brücken - Bridging (2022-2024) in Cologne. Together with the artist Signe Raunkjaer Holm, she started the multi-parted performance project Dollhouses. She studied at the HFBK Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. In 2018-2021 she was curator at PiK Deutz (KunstWerk Köln e.V.) where she curated exhibitions such as Parasites (2020/21).