Westfälischer Kunstverein

Raphaela Vogel

She Shah

10 Dec 2016 - 12 Feb 2017

Raphaela Vogel
She Shah, 2016
video still, video 6 min
Courtesy the artist and BQ, Berlin.
She Shah
10 December 2016 – 12 February 2017

Curated by Kristina Scepanski.

In her solo exhibition at the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Raphaela Vogel (b. 1988, Nuremberg) presents – along with other works – two recently developed, site-specific installations, which she refers to as “video sculptures”. In the main room, the projector is surrounded by an imposingly bellingerent construction made from stage trusses and high voltage insulators, reminiscent of a stage set-up or an acropolis. Vogel filmed the footage for the video projected here in the summer of 2016 on the Greek island of Hydra, indeed, she also features in it herself in various scenes. Alluding to the mythological figure of the flayed satyr Marsyas by depicting herself wearing a muscle body suit in the final sequence, Vogel is primarily fascinated by Marsyas’s hubristic gesture in challenging Apollo to a music contest. Raphaela Vogel is fond of availing herself of this gesture in her frequently loud works that are imbued with a certain sense of urgency and demand one’s unconditional attention. This occasionally aggressive and relentless presence of an artist’s personality and her work would seem today to be more of a masculine trait. The fact that Vogel dares to venture into and occupy these domains (heavy metal, shisha bars, technical gadgetry...) is one the outstanding qualities of her methodology. A further characteristic of Vogel’s practice is the way she uses the camera: she dispenses with a crew completely, she is always both protagonist and cameraperson. Vogel guides the camera using drones and thereby controls what we see and is not just an object. The camera itself becomes thus a protagonist of sorts, a counterpart or, as in the aforementioned scene, a playmate and a stalker: Vogel wears a controller to which the drone – an “airdog” equipped with a GPS tracker – responds and automatically follows her. Of equal importance to Vogel, alongside all these technical refinements, is her fascination for and engagement with ancient and occasionally almost shamanic materials (e.g. leather) and other sources (e.g. occult voices in the video Hochbett). This extreme polarity typifies the enormously broad spectrum of possible female role models and myriad ways of self-presentation.

Raphaela Vogel studied fine art at the Nuremberg Academy of Art and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. She also undertook postgraduate study at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Raphaela Vogel lives and works in Berlin.

The exhibition is supported by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and with materials sponsored by LAPP Insulators. The Westfälischer Kunstverein is funded by the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe and the City of Münster Cultural Office.

Tags: Projector, Raphaela Vogel