close

Katja Schenkerartist sheet 61/72

focus

events

PerformanceProcess Basel 2017-2018
tue 19 Sep 2017
1
19h15
Forteresse (2017)Musée Tinguely

Forteresse is performance and sculpture simultaneously. The artist first builds a polygonal structure in clay. For her performance she positions herself in the middle of the construction and cuts up the walls in a physically very elaborate gesture with the aid of a cord. Forteresse was realized for the first time in 2011 in Geneva.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse 18.09-13.12.15
tue 24 Nov 2015
1
19h
PERFORMANCE : Peau articulée (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Katja Schenker

Katja Schenker's work focuses on performance and sculpture. An object often results from the process of her performances. Her projects explore existential ideas: the relationship between interior and exterior, the Self and others, permeability and belonging. Her work is about emotion and physical sensations. For the CCS, she has designed a performance piece based on an image that relates to the unconscious mind: filling cracks, masking openings, smoothing out the uneven surfaces of bodies while respecting their nature, their changing shape, the way they move and bend. The starting point for the project is a special rendering technique applied to façades in Le Marais. The choice of material and the close relationship with architecture and place provides a metaphorical framework for a complex psychological tableau. The performance involves sophisticated expertise and requires total symbiosis between artist and material.

thu 26 Nov 2015
1
13h
Peau articulée (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50
fri 27 Nov 2015
1
13h
Peau articulée (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50
sat 28 Nov 2015
1
13h
Peau articulée (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50
sun 29 Nov 2015
1
13h
Peau articulée (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50
2
16h
PERFORMANCE : Peau articulée (création)Centre culturel suisse+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Katja Schenker

Katja Schenker's work focuses on performance and sculpture. An object often results from the process of her performances. Her projects explore existential ideas: the relationship between interior and exterior, the Self and others, permeability and belonging. Her work is about emotion and physical sensations. For the CCS, she has designed a performance piece based on an image that relates to the unconscious mind: filling cracks, masking openings, smoothing out the uneven surfaces of bodies while respecting their nature, their changing shape, the way they move and bend. The starting point for the project is a special rendering technique applied to façades in Le Marais. The choice of material and the close relationship with architecture and place provides a metaphorical framework for a complex psychological tableau. The performance involves sophisticated expertise and requires total symbiosis between artist and material.

Exhibitions

60 years of performance art in Switzerland museum Tinguely, 20.09.2017 - 28.01.2018

Forteresse (2017)

Clay, metal base

Forteresse is performance and sculpture simultaneously. The artist first builds a polygonal structure in clay. For her performance she positions herself in the middle of the construction and cuts up the walls in a physically very elaborate gesture with the aid of scissors. Forteresse was realized for the first time in 2011 in Geneva.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre culturel suisse 18.09-13.12.15

Sauvée (2006)

Sculpture, fabric, thread / pencil, and drawings, colored pencil, acrylic on paper, sculpture diameter 55 cm, drawings 59.5×84 cm and 42×59.5 cm

extraball

symposium

+

biography

Born in 1968, lives in Zurich.
Katja Schenker produces artworks for buildings and public spaces—sculptures and installations—but performance art is her preferred medium. She uses materials or objects that she often transforms, changing both their shape and their size. Her performances, which she always executes alone, are often very physical and regularly result in a sculpture or installation in situ.

bibliography

interview

images

vidéos

texts

Performance-sculpture, and vice- versa

The process of sculpture and body/art relationships in the work of Katja Schenker. ...

The process of sculpture and body/art relationships in the work of Katja Schenker.

Why do human beings sculpt? This question is so essential in the work of Katja Schenker that we are likely to pass it by. At once taboo, philosophical and historical, it is just as fraught as the question of the innate desire of all human beings to be able to create things in their own image. In the age of the selfie, it has never been more omnipresent and complex. The portrait signifies self-love and love for others in equal measure—witness the self-portraits in a mirror by Parmigianino (1523–1524) or Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1882–1883), or Pygmalion et Galatée by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1890). These paintings show how close and existential the relationship between image and humans is. The portrait raises the urgent question of the value of the body, its fragility and its transience. And that's not all: even the empty space the body leaves behind when it moves becomes a pressing theme. Katja Schenker raises all these questions in her category-defying work. As a sculptress, the notion of process is central to her approach. As a performance artist, she interacts with objects, attributing many artistic concepts to them and imbuing them with different forms of materiality and energy. “I don't think about the outcome when I work,” she says (her photographs provide a visual record of her highly focused and physically demanding work). The symbiosis between artist and material is the common thread running through all she does—by turns causing terror and fascination. The sublime, often balanced before the viewer with masterful force, moves through Katja Schenker's work in a more subtle way, silently and without losing any of its power. In durchtrieben (cunning-extruded), she wrings heavy strips of coloured fabric until she can twist no more, placing the resulting knots on the floor like contorted sculptures. In moll (in minor mode), she spreads out 1,200 square metres of white paper she has spent several days binding into a square shape. After unbinding and thus transforming the sculpture from one condition to another, a modification of the space then occurs. The material knows how to change, and the artist follows the process with great interest. In Schenker's work, the type of relationships she establishes with others is a vital parameter for fully understanding the way she thinks.

“I want to awaken a feeling of what I do in my audience,” she says. In other words, she seeks the spontaneous reaction of the audience, its physical and intellectual response to this communion between body and material that often changes over quite a long period of time. Her approach is clearly dialogical, and she uses a symbiotic relationship where belonging, delimitation, and interpenetration (and permeability) play an eminently complex role, an “interior-exterior ambivalence”. For Schenker, what is involved is not mere “interaction” and this is not the only fundamental element that sets her apart from her colleagues in the performance sphere. The photographic documentation of her performance pieces reveals Schenker's production process, which is just as important as the “afterlife” of the resulting objects. Rencontre shows the moment of a self-embrace and the decision to provide a representation of her own body. The effigy is the “empty space” created by the imprint of the body, by its moving-away, which allows a new sculptural body to emerge. In a way this constitutes the frame of an image, an invitation to touch and to allow someone else to take possession of the space. This self-representation of the artist as a sculptor is not only symptomatic of her process-driven and performative approach, it also constitutes her message, present in all her work, in the form of an existential question that is raised again and again, especially today: what is the definition of, and the correspondence between, the condition of sculpture and the existential act?

 

Susanne Neubauer, art historian and curator

links