Collective Research Mass

October 21 — November 12, 2017

In this show, Eva Castringius, Joke Janssen and ANna Tautfest explore the possibilities of assessing bodies, landscapes and semantic traditions (categories and typologies) as changeable, unstable entities. All three artists focus in their respective artistic research upon traces and materialities, their discursive norming and mapping. They counter these properties with a strategic alternation between solid and fluid states.

Based on the Trinity Test Site (New Mexico, USA), Eva Castringius's artistic research project focuses upon the depictability of radioactivity, the way in which it is organised as a real space and as a cultural construct. In her material and filmic quest for answers, she views the contaminated landscapes of the nuclear test site, as well as the images of it in circulation and its various manifestations, as vibrant entities. Photographic documents of the atomic bomb detonations in 1945, into which traces of nuclear destruction have been indexically etched, provide the starting point for Eva Castringius's work.

Joke Janssen's interest lies in sculptural and performative material and movement studies using trans* concepts. He questions categorical attributions and looks for fluid ways of representing bodies, identities and positionings in a state of collective inconstancy. Through serial experiments using tar, he explores the relationships between bodies and their environment. Subtle, at first glance often imperceptible transformation processes of the material counter received knowledge about the subjects, itself localised in identary attributions, with a right to opacity.

Through her art, ANna Tautfest researches the medium of photography and the possibility of imagining and asserting new future worlds via its inherent indexicality. She focuses thematically in her grid images upon the reciprocal processes of charting and norming of material. She coats large-format support material with photochemical emulsions that are formed into relief-like compositions and duly exposed in the darkroom. In the experiment designed to huddle the carriers of photography and the body to be depicted more closely together, the resistance becomes visible as a defect in the material and as an irregularity of the exposure. ANna Tautfest develops this investigation of depictability and its limits performatively in her video sketches: support materials and taxonomies/systems of classification are distorted in the presented negotiations generating a confusion in optical perception.

The search and development of narratives that reveal dominant interpretations as discursive constructs capable of being changed and (de)formed form pivotal aspects of the show. Bodies, landscapes, objects and photographic documentations are parts of a complex nexus of reciprocal effects. The participating artists, all of whom are PhD students participating in the »Aesthetics of the Virtual« postgraduate programme at the HFBK Hamburg, approach the scope and possibilities arising from temporal and spatial networks and movements. Eva Castringius's, Joke Janssen's and ANna Tautfest's individual artistic research projects manifest vibrations of images, objects, identities or bodies that challenge the unquestioning assumption of set entities. 

Participating artists
The collaboration between Eva Castringius, Joke Janssen and ANna Tautfest has grown within the »Aesthetics of the Virtual« postgraduate programme at the HFBK Hamburg. Their respective research projects are based on the close connection between science and art in which virtuality and material are closely approximated and actualised in dislocations, viscose deceleration or coalescing granulation.

Eva Castringius focuses upon anthropogenic landscapes, which she investigates through the interplay of photography, video and installation. Current theories about the environment and ecology play a significant role as well as the reflexive treatment of space and its reception as a cultural construct.
Joke Janssen is interested in the effects and influences of norms and categorisations on subjects and bodies. He aims to short-circuit dichotomies and create opaque situations that promote imaginative scope and possibility.
ANna Tautfest explores the conditionality of bodies, identities and regimes of looking with special attention to its constructed character. Deploying photography as an aesthetic frame of reference for her research, she approaches her subject from the perspective of queer feminism and the deconstruction of hierarchies.