The astonishing reality of things
Ayse Erkmen, Tamara Grcic, Janice Kerbel, Karin Sander
March 19 - May 7, 2016
Opening Friday, March 18, 2016, 6–9 p.m. Artist Talk Jana Sterbak and Noemi Smolik Friday, March 18, 2016, 7 p.m.
Jana Sterbak has been known since the 1980s for her conceptual objects, performances, photographs, and installations, in which she translates complex ideas into trenchant images. At the heart of her work are humans, with all of their diverse emotions and tense relationships to society and their own beings. Sterbak deals with existential themes through cryptic humor, subversively and with occasionally disturbing effects. Material is of special significance: fresh meat, bread, sweat, or human hair unsettle viewers, while directly addressing their senses.
The exhibition gathers works from a period of three decades, and they revolve around a category that is difficult to comprehend: identity. The clothing, objects, and photographs on display raise questions about the transformative quality of things and about human individuality. By shifting materials and dimensions, Sterbak makes everyday objects seem unfamiliar. By relieving things of their usual functions and expanding their sensory aspects, she allows us to perceive them in new ways.
As simple and legible as Jana Sterbak’s works of art appear at first glance, their multiple meanings allow them to avoid being pinned down or interpreted clearly. Supposed certainties about people and things dissolve when observing these works