JOSEPHINE MECKSEPER. You Can Leave Your Hat On. 12.11.2010 – 29.01.2011 

Press Release
Exhibition Views

english / deutsch

"Furs, traveling bags, china — these things are all a much more rewarding sight than the grimy little pictures nailed on the grey wall of the passéist painter’s studio." Giacomo Balla

Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new sculptural, painting, photographic and video works by Josephine Meckseper.

For her fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, Meckseper continues her examination of display and commerce, constructing an urban architecture of commodification in the gallery with a real invocation of the metropolis. Works are constructed and arranged with the logic of a city-grid, verticality, unit and repetition. Paintings form a row of windows on the wall and hang on grids, looking outward towards abstracted landscapes of road and car. Sculptures erected on racks, pedestals and vitrines invoke street, skyscraper and block, where the everyday objects they showcase (sunglasses, ties and hosiery) stand both as the sale merchandise and as the disembodied characters who shuffle through the architecture of commodity and control.

This emphasis on the urban, on industry and auto mechanics, recalls Futurism, though Meckseper employs its aesthetics (machine, city, chrome, repetition) in critique rather than exaltation. Marinetti famously dictated the Futurist manifesto in a muddy drainage ditch from the wreckage of a car crash, and there are echoes of the auto wreck here. Car parts and prosthetics are strewn across grids, like body and auto parts littered across a road after an accident. However, where Futurism espoused a hot love for metropolis, military, man, fascism and war, Meckseper invokes these symbols in a cold critique of commoditization and the military industrial complex. There is a real disquiet in the work-unease, anxiety and unformed hazard. In the video "Contaminator", a vague yet menacing smoke, recalling toxic cloud, dust storm, smog pollution or the smolder after an explosion, permeates a room of debris. People move within the cloud in a transient state, like workers and victims in the aftermath of a disaster. Images of oil spills and black paint, like fossil fuel, seep throughout the show, evoking the threats of war, energy dependence, and ecological disaster, ever present here as in modern life. The presence of these threats within the architecture of commerce deftly tie contemporary hazard to the culture of consumption.

This is Josephine Meckseper’s fourth solo show with Galerie Reinhard Hauff and follows a recent solo exhibition at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, earlier this year. Her film "Mall of America" was recently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, as part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial. In 2009, Meckseper had solo exhibitions at the Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum at the University of Houston, Texas, the Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst in Münster, Germany and the Migros Museum in Zürich, Switzerland. Her work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the exhibition "New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky", and in 2007, her work was the focus of a mid-career retrospective presented at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, which traveled to Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen. She has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions including "Brave New Worlds", Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, touring to Fundación / Colección Jumex, Mexico City; "Resistance Is", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Second Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville, Seville; "USA Today", Royal Academy of Arts, London, which traveled to The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; "Media Burn" at the Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Biennial 2006: "Day for Night" at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.