WATCH OUT #7: Sonia González on Lou Hoyer
WATCH OUT is an ongoing series in which curators present emerging artists who they find exciting. Selected by Yvonne Scheja.
A eerie-beautiful feeling surrounded me in 2018 when I saw a work by Lou Hoyer for the first time at the Projektraum PingPong in Basel. This feeling persists to this day when I contemplate your drawings, installations, or performances.
"Press Play," a 23-meter-long wall frieze consisting of 33 scenes, adorned all the walls of the room. The work's title is both a directive and a play on words. Following the delicate strokes of her drawings, the game and the exploration truly begin. Thin lines on powdery-looking stone paper weave a tapestry of curtains, bodies, and a variety of gender parts. Sometimes ghostly, sometimes humorous, and entirely surreal scenes, whose narrative dissolves again in the next drawing, surrounding the viewer from all sides.
In the theater, the curtain formally marks the beginning and end of a play, spatially separating the audience from the fictional drama. In Lou Hoyer's works, however, it is a recurring motif that no longer separates but serves as a connecting element between the scenes and even becomes a subject itself.
So it seems in the drawing "Sister Ophelia" that a group of female doctors is operating a curtain. The space for fiction is no longer clearly separated from the viewer.
Lou Hoyer reinforced this idea in her solo exhibition "Welcome aboard the apocalyptic rider" at the Kunstraum Potsdam in 2021. Several narrow strips of painted canvas were installed from top to bottom on the left and right in an elongated exhibition space. The paintings on the strips represent draped fabric and create a perspectival illusion of a curtain, a trompe-l'œil, which is resolved again by the positioning when the viewer walks through the space, and the paintings serve as actual rigid room dividers.
The polarity of observer and work, spectator and actor, human and non-human, as well as the bright pastel colors and the delicacy of the strokes, which contrast with the motifs, are what fascinate me about your work: truly eerie-beautiful.
About Sonia Gonzalez
Sonia Gonzalez studied at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg under Thomas Demand and Ceal Floyer. Afterward, she worked with a focus on publications for several years at the Galerie Thomas Zander (Cologne). Since 2020, Gonzalez has been directing Villa Schöningen in Potsdam, successfully curating exhibitions including 'Trulee Hall: The Seer and the Seen,' as well as 'In Between,' featuring artists such as Karin Sander, Martina Kügler, and Isabella Fürnkäs. Most recently, she curated 'Michael Schmidt »FRAUEN« in Conversation,' showcasing artists like Miriam Cahn, Anne Imhof, or Ana Mendieta.