Schering Stiftung Art Award
Curated by Ellen Blumenstein
Artist talk with Kate Cooper and Fatima Hellberg, with an introduction by Ellen Blumenstein: Saturday, 20.9.14
For her first institutional exhibition, awarded as part of the Schering Stiftung Art Award, this year’s winner Kate Cooper has produced a new work comprising of video and photographic production especially for KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART.
Through an extensive use of CGI techniques commercial photography and post-production, the show RIGGED highlights the labor inherent in the creation of images, looking at the position the female body has occupied in the history of digital image technology. Through the creation and re-rendering of images of the body, Cooper asks how these digital figures might perform in our place made real as downloadable, ultra-realized bodies.
Cooper is interested in the fictional spaces of universally understood advertising images, tests our experience of them and relationship to them and thus openly questions our conceptions of gender and labor they collectively generate. RIGGED explores new possible connections between bodies and images, and presents tensions between presence and invisibility. As digital images become our body doubles – expensive yet unpaid figures performing on our behalf – the labor inherent in these modes of production becomes re-focused in an economy of withdrawal. Our own bodies use a strategy of refusal; and camouflage as a technique of survival.
As Cooper states: “In our post-representational world – where images are dislocated and free-floating across networks – how can we renegotiate an agency to images, imbue them with power, make them work for us?”
RIGGED displays the human being itself as a commercial good, the billboard-sized figures, installed throughout the space, focus on the body as a place for communicating ideas; re-coding and re-configuring new meanings. As the rendered images become disturbingly realistic, Cooper’s doppelgangers surround the observer in their muted formations, and narrate their own illusionary potential, which is more permanent than flesh.
Curated by Ellen Blumenstein in cooperation with the Ernst Schering Foundation.
In the framework of the 2014 Berlin Art Week
Kate Cooper, born 1984 in Liverpool, lives and works in London. As co-founder and director of the artist-run organisation AUTO ITALIA, she has initiated projects investigating how artists can work together to invent and create new formats for artistic production. Past projects include: VIEWING COPY, CIC, Cairo (2013); IMMATERIAL LABOUR ISN’T WORKING, Auto Italia, London (2013); MY SKIN IS AT WAR WITH A WORLD OF DATA, Artissima Art Fair, Turin (2012); AUTO ITALI LIVE, ICA, London (2012); IT’S LIKE STARING SOMEONE OUT WHO’S NOT EVEN LOOKING AT YOU, Tate Modern, London (2012). She was recently shortlisted for the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Prize WHAT WILL THEY SEE OF ME?, London, and CCA, Glasgow (2014).
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin:
KW Institute for Contemporary Art is a place for the production and presentation of contemporary art, where the pressing questions of our time can be openly formulated and discussed.
It is a center for the introduction of recent developments in national and international contemporary culture, and for further development, working together with artists and institutions, and commissioning new work.
As an institution for contemporary art without a collection of its own, but also without the specific mandate of a member-based art association, KW has a high degree of flexibility in creating its programs and addressing its audience. It is a resource both for the people who make active use of it, and for those who participate in it as visitors.
The building complex in Berlin’s centre includes exhibition halls, function rooms, offices, and a café, alongside apartments and studios, and provides a space for encounters and exchanges.
The Schering Stiftung Art Award:
The Schering Stiftung Art Award honors international artists who can be considered as the most important newcomers in the last couple of years and who pursue an outstanding original artistic approach. The award includes a prize money of 10,000 Euros, a solo exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, and a catalog.
The jury members are Ellen Blumenstein (Chief curator, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Massimiliano Gioni (Artistic director, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milano, Italy), Prof. Dr. Charlotte Klonk (Professor, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Nicolaus Schafhausen (Director, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria), and Joshua Simon (Director, MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam, Israel).
The cultural programs of KW Institute for Contemporary Art are made possible with the support of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.