Junkspace # 211, Centre Monnaie Bruxelles, from the series Junkspace, 2013–16 © Kalinka Gieseler
On My Mind... Kalinka Gieseler
The public space we move through daily is essentially created through commercial imagery. The forms and shapes this imagery takes go far beyond ads and billboards. It has become an architectural force.
Kalinka Gieseler has dedicated her artistic practice exclusively to the spacial arrangements thus created. She sets up pictorial complexes composed of found and re-photographed images that often leave the spectator in doubt as to what is seen, thus examining postmodern politics of representation.
For the most part devoid of signs of distinction like logos and slogans, the works convey a pictorial confusion. They are fragmented, often overtly emphasizing the flatness of the photographic image, or featuring details that infiltrate the desired perfection of these spatial arrangements.
The artist enhances this by layering images taken in different locations or with material found in magazines and catalogues, or by creating arrangements in the exhibition space that resemble those of the commercial spaces in shopping malls, airports, stadiums, outlet-villages, etc., but clearly lack the elements of orientation or communication that they usually contain.
Junkspace, installation at King Size, Leipzig, 2013 © Kalinka Gieseler
A point of departure for her growing body of work is Rem Koolhaas’s concept of the 'junk space'. The architect uses this phrase to describe buildings and urban structures that are informed by commercial interests, thereby theorizing a capitalist urban space in which shopping is the pervasive force that determines how the city is planned. The city continuously morphs accordingly, using photographic and printing technologies as essential tools in the process of creating and re-creating it. Seeing is evolving into something new and different in this commercially permeated urban context, and it is more than ever shaped by complex spatial photographic arrangements.
Within the junk space, we are exposed to an image-regime in which capitalist ideology has become a spatial photographic experience. Kalinka Gieseler takes up the explorations once initiated by the pictures' generation and transfers them into a present in which we are forced to constantly question what and how we see in urban space.
About Sabine Weier
Sabine Weier is an art critic based in Berlin (DE) and Graz (AT), where she is currently an editor at Camera Austria International, a quarterly contributing to current debates on the role of photography as a cultural technique and praxis of contemporary art. Since 2011, she has been writing about contemporary art for magazines and newspapers with a focus on photography and video art. She has been involved in discursive praxis and curatorial projects for institutions such as the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt/Main, transmediale, festival for art and digital culture in Berlin, and C/O Berlin.