LONDON.- Camden Arts Centre
presents Berlin-based artist Katja Strunzs first solo exhibition in a public gallery in the UK. Her new installation has evolved out of her reaction to the space in particular the sound which resonates from the road outside and brings together a group of figurines or musicians which are made from multiple found objects, including candlesticks, Turkish ashtrays, cymbals and hotel reception bells that resemble parasols.
Shown alongside abstract paper works these figurines bring to mind an alternative brass band, or a quizzical audience, as they survey the rest of the exhibition and occasionally show their appreciation of it. Talking about the parasol, which is also a German mushroom, Strunz describes it as an archaic form, the basis of a home, which shields a place, protecting it from the outside, perhaps from the sky, a flash, a divine light or an idea.
Strunz works with the resonance of history, what she has termed aftermath, and with the enfolding of time and space. She is interested in different techniques, for example collage and mimesis and various phenomena like trauma and memory that disrupt the linear perception of time.
The works reveal traces of age and decay and many of her spatial compositions suggest a halt of movement, of the fall and the fold.
Her abstract sculptures and installations make material visible and history sensible, not through reconstruction, but construction.
Based in Kreuzberg, an ex-industrial area in Berlin which has become populated by artists, designers and architects who have taken over the abandoned warehouses that litter the area, Strunzs work has become synonymous with the area because of her use of worn or found materials and objects where the ruins of the past are apparent on their time-worn and rusty surfaces.
Katja Strunz was born in Ottweiler, Germany, in 1970 and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. She received her Meisterschuler from Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1998. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, The Great Bear, Mount Stuart Gallery, Mount Stuart, Scotland; Katja Strunz, Cruise & Callas, Berlin (both 2009); Einbruchstellen, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2008); Guten Morgen Erwachen, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris; Lazy Corner and the Suicide Walls, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, UK (both 2007); Whose garden was this, Gavin Browns enterprise, New York and Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany (both 2006). Her work has been included in elles @ centre pompidou, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Constructivismes - (A visual essay), Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (both 2009); Life on Mars, Carnegie International, Pittsburgh; Rooming In!, Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad; Material Presence. Sculpture and installation from the Zabludowicz Collection, 176 Gallery, London (all 2008).