Nature's Pencil - invited by Claudia Wieser
May 23rd – Jun 28th, 2014
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
As a special project and on invitation by Claudia Wieser, Sies + Höke is pleased to present an exhibition by New York-based artist Lisa Oppenheim.
Lisa Oppenheim (*1975, New York) makes still and moving images that explore the relationship between photographic process and content. Employing techniques from early experimental photography, such as solarization, cameraless photography (photograms), or exposure by natural (moon-) light and flames, and using found imagery, both archival and from contemporary digital sources such as Flickr, she consciously performs processes that evoke a poetic displacement, highlighting the magic of image creation as well as her own awareness of art theory.
“Part of the fun of making art is using technologies against the grain, pushing them in ways they are not supposed to go. In this way, technologies in themselves become both the artistic material and the content of the art” (Lisa Oppenheim in The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation, Mary-Kay Lombino (Ed.), Prestel, 2013)
In the series Smoke (2011-13), Oppenheim isolated images of smoke from found photographs and used these to produce digital negatives. Rather than use the light of an enlarger, she used the flames from a match and a culinary torch to expose and solarize the negatives- in essence using fire to make fire. Fish scales, Véritable Hollandais(2012-13) were made by placing fabric directly onto photographic paper and exposing the paper twice, folding the fabric between exposures. This wax fabric is made in the Netherlands and imitates handmade batiks from Indonesia but is produced almost exclusively for a West African market. The results here are dark violet, abstract, moiré-like patterned photographs. Leisure Work (2012-13) begins with a nod to the pioneering photographer William Henry Fox Talbot, who used photographic imprints of lace in order to describe his invention of a positive and negative process that allowed for photographic reproduction (prior to this photographs had been irreproducible plates), as people were just as used to seeing white lace as black.However the title refers to labour, and particularly the labour of women lace makers. Leisure Work was both theclassification and explanation for the inability to count lace makers in a 19thcentury Belgian census. Works from a fourth series, Passage of the Moon Over Two Hours (2012) are made from an anonymous negative of the same name from the 1870s that Oppenheim scanned from a book of early scientific photographs. Here, playfully, Oppenheim re-exposed the negatives to moonlight on a Manhattan rooftop.
Lisa Oppenheim lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Lisa Oppenheim, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2014); Lisa Oppenheim, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg (2014); Lisa Oppenheim, Lulu, Mexico City (2014). Recent solo exhibitions include: From Abigail to Jacob (Works 2004-2014), Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2014); Everyone’s Camera, Kunstverein Göttingen, Göttingen (2013); Heaven Blazing Into The Head, The Approach, London (2013); Point de Gaze, Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (2013); Intervention: Lisa Oppenheim, 21er Haus, Vienna (2012); Equivalents, Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York (2012); Vapours and Veils, Klosterfelde, Berlin (2012); Art Statements, Art Basel 42, Lisa Oppenheim with Galerie Juliette Jongma, Basel (2011). Group exhibitions include: The Dying of the Light: Film as Medium and Metaphor, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2014); New Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); ICP Triennial 2013, International Center of Photography, New York (2013); Artists’ Film Club: Lisa Oppenheim – Double, ICA, London (2012); Found In Translation, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2012) and Guggenheim Museum, New York (2011); Flags for Venice, Swiss Institute, Venice (2011).