February 26 till April 02, 2011

“Turn around!” – the title of Monika Stricker’s third solo exhibition at the gallery Clages is more like a command. To the viewer, the appeal connotes a change of view or direction and the confrontation with a new situation. Stepping into the exhibition, the neon light reading “turn around” calls these alternatives into the mind of the viewer. He or she can choose to obey the directive or defy it. Left alone in the unattended space, both options stand open and without consequences.

Stricker’s object in the middle of the room also exists in this suspension of possibilities: lying on a glass vitrine is a knife – upon closer inspection, a knife blank – the floor reflection of which gives the object a haptic appearance. But in reality, the glass vitrine contains only the blue halves of a negative form of a knife. Contrary to the obvious expectations, the blank on the vitrine could not have been cast from this form. Both objects demonstrate the possibilities of the translation of an object. They suggest the idea of it and define it without the object being present.

Stricker takes her usual approach to the extreme in this piece. In her use and conceptual realization of objects often known to us from the film industry, Stricker takes their Dasein or “being” to the point of absurdity.

A replica of a weapon, for example, forever remains a simulacrum, a representative of the actual. With “unassigned space (cast)”, she takes it a step further. The negative form is the impression of a film prop from the movie “Resident Evil: Afterlife”. It is expressly this prop that is elevated to the level of simulacrum on a purely imaginary level. The possibility of its being resides in its absence.

The framed montage on the front wall of the gallery is pieced together out of a sequence from the film “THX 1138.” The design for the gallery window mirrors the representation of the scenes; the viewer can see only halfway through. The other half goes unwatched.

It is this unwatched, unclassifiable space that Stricker continually explores in her work, forever posing the question: Where can we find the essence of things? Where do original and copy intersect? Can this be detected at all or is it always in a blind spot, similar to the part of the surroundings that stays invisible when spinning on one’s own axis?

Britta Rübsam