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Commotion in Higienópolis: Lafayette Anticipations opens an exhibition of works by Katinka Bock
Installation view. © Pierre Antoine / Lafayette Anticipations, 2019.

PARIS.- Katinka Bock's sculptures, performances and installations result from her investigation of the physical and material conditions of a given place, and an exploration of its historical, social and political charge. As such, they are all connected to her experience of that place.

Her interest in place and dimension is reflected in the hypotheses she formulates prior to the sculpting process, and by her questioning of our preconception of a place, its persistence in time or how it becomes altered through use.

Her work has been shown worldwide but – surprisingly, considering this has been her home for many years – never in Paris. Restoration of a building in Hanover has provided an unexpected opportunity to develop, with the artist, an original and spectacular project with elements in every part of Lafayette Anticipations.

The building in question, the Anzeiger-Hochhaus in Hanover, is one of the city's most remarkable, as well as a landmark in news publishing as Stern and Der Spiegel, two influential weeklies, both originated in its basement. The roof of this huge rectangle of red brick supports a copper dome measuring 12 metres in diameter, now patinated green. Restoration of this listed building has permitted Katinka Bock to recover some of this copper.

Immediately, Bock identified analogies between the Anzeiger-Hochhaus building and that of Lafayette Anticipations, a space for ideas and creativity that begins in the basement studios where works are produced, and rises towards the public areas. The symbolic nature of this physical ascension was not lost on the artist, whose project to fill the central exhibition tower with a suspended installation is characteristic of her heightened sensitivity to dimension, material conditions, space and time.

The principal work is a nine-metre high monumental sculpture, Rauschen ("breaking waves"), that hangs in the exhibition tower like a bat's metallic mantle. The ravages of time are visible on the repurposed copper: dents where bombs have ripped through the metal and the traces of subsequent repairs, colour shading that varies from east to west, north to south, pollution, scratch marks left by generations of birds, hailstone impacts, etc.

Its shape recalls Bock's ceramic sculptures. Hollow and asymmetrical, they map the contours of a phantom object that vanished in the kiln. Rauschen is a body in movement, be it an overripe fruit, an open chrysalis or tightened skin. The verdigrised copper has history written across its surface, like a shell that carries the weight of the years.

A number of other sculptures are positioned inside and outside the foundation. These are human figures, some mutating, others just emerging; objects in equilibrium.

This novel group of works reflects Katinka Bock's current line of research into textures, in particular reptile skins, materials, specifically copper, leather and clay, and printing techniques.

From March 7 to May 17, 2020, the exhibition will travel to the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hanover, which opened in 1997 next-door to the Anzeiger-Hochhaus, in what was the Goseriede swimming baths. Rauschen will be set on the floor, where the men's pool used to be.

As part of the exhibition, a journal will be published on-site under the direction of Katinka Bock, Thomas Boutoux and Clara Schulmann, with contributions from international artists. Borrowing its format from some of the world's leading daily papers, this very limited edition will be printed almost entirely as linocuts on a manual press, from laser-cut blocks produced at the foundation.

A booklet (part of the "Carnets" collection), risograph-printed at the foundation, accompanies the exhibition.

Katinka Bock (1976) was born in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). She has graduated at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee (2004) and has a post-diploma from the National School of Fine Arts of Lyon (2005), she lives and works in Paris. Noted for her sculpture work, in 2012 she received the 14th Ricard Foundation Prize and the Dorothea von Stetten Prize in Germany. She is also a resident at Villa Medicis in 2012-2013. She is nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2019. Her work is represented by galleries Jocelyn Wolff (Paris), Meyer Riegger (Berlin) and Greta Meert (Brussels).

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