Kathrin Sonntag

30 Apr - 25 Jun 2011

© Kathrin Sonntag
81 slides, 27 motifs, Kodak-slidecarousel projection, sound, loop, size variable, detail
Double Take
30 April – 25 June 2011

Kathrin Sonntag’s solo exhibition at Galerie Kamm bears the title Double Take. As implied in the title an extensive installation ushers the viewer into a miraculous world of doublings and similarities. Images and objects that seem readable at first, evade familiar interpretation at second glance.

The slide projection Blame it on Morandi shows the artist’s studio in a 180 degree turn. The camera eye travels along a table over a collection of objects that are arranged in a way that resembles classical still life painting. The dramatic lighting and the doublings and analogies in the motifs create an atmosphere of mystery reaching its peak when the succession of images unexpectedly winds into an impossible loop.

The starting point of the extensive main installation is Kathrin Sonntag’s studio as well. A photographic wallpaper that illustrates her studio on a 1:1 scale transverses the viewer into an illusionistic space that - in the tradition of the Trompe-l’œil genre - simulates a non-existing spatiality. With objects that are shown on the wallpaper reappearing in the actual gallery space an interplay between object and representation is created which causes the appearance and meaning of things to falter. In the work Mimikry # 2 as well one is tempted to succumb to an illusion. A brass umbrella stand in the shape of an umbrella sits upon an ornately carved wood pedestal. On the wall behind the object is an image showing a second umbrella stand holding two umbrellas. A comparison of the two views reveals that the wooden pedestal and the depicted umbrella stand share a resemblance, while the pictured umbrellas return the gaze to the umbrella-shaped brass object. The perplexing relationship between object and representation - the strange concurrence of form and function - allow the eye to combine similar elements and only the intellect is able to recognize what the eye has aligned.

Playing upon Cornelis Gijsbrechts’ Trompe-l’œil painting the work Mise en abyme, also included in the main installation, takes up the motif of the pin-board. Leather bands that are pinned to the wall form a grid structure holding diverse objects, like a playing card or a comb, and images, picturing the very same objects. The title refers to the underlying picture-in-picture principle according to which the objects and images are organised in the pin-board. The juxtaposition of object and representation constitutes a concentrated reflection of the genre of Trompe-l’œil, thus leading back to the overall installation.

Through various further interventions and diverse strategies of deception, in a finely orchestrated game of confusion Kathrin Sonntag blurs the boundaries between the same and the similar. Her exhibition Double Take puzzles the eye at the point where reality and appearance seem to merge.

Tags: Kathrin Sonntag