Saturday, April 17, 2021

Pamela Rosenkranz - Kunsthaus Bregenz


APR 17, 2021 - JUL 04, 2021

“What makes us feel the way we feel?”, asks Pamela Rosenkranz. “What influence do scientific findings have on what being human means to us, and what influence do neurosciences have on our understanding of identity?” Sometimes blue dominates, the ultramarine employed by Yves Klein – a shade of oceanic depth – in addition, Rosenkranz also employs a delicate, soft pink, as well as a luminous green. The walls are monochrome, a viscous light emitted from LED lighting. The floor is reflective, it glitters like water permeated by the color of skin. Colors and objects are not representations, neither are they depictions of subjective imaginings or pure contemplation. Derived rather from scientific knowledge, they are illustrations of chemical constellations. The works always evoke human skin, the permeable organic boundary between the internal and external.

In 2015 Pamela Rosenkranz conceived the Swiss pavilion for the Venice Biennial. The diffuse mint green and baby pink colors were joined by a dull female voice and a slightly musty smell, the cause of which remained concealed. The spaces did not display anything that was recognizable as art, the emptiness referring visitors back to individual perceptions and their own experiences. Yet any sensory certainty remained questionable. The smell was actually synthetically produced musk which, depending on intensity, can be perceived as either attractive or repulsive. Rosenkranz experiments with pharmaceuticals, colors and materials, and their effect on the senses, on the human condition and perceptions. What influence do synthetic substances have on our life? What is the relation between sexuality and silicone? Rosenkranz conducts research on a molecular level. Since 2009 she has been filling commercial mineral water bottles with tinted silicone. The colors are derived from the different shades of human skin, the pink reflecting a Eurocentric clientele. The ideal of Modernism is an illusion, humanism remains questionable, genes and tissues are likewise contaminated. For Sharjah Biennial 14 in 2019, Pamela Rosenkranz constructed a robotic snake that wended its way through the hot sand in the inner courtyard of a building surrounded by arcades, the organic and real being once and for all replaced by the mechanical and invented. The emptiness and harmonious simplicity of the spaces at Kunsthaus Bregenz will doubtlessly be unusually responsive to the ideas in Rosenkranz’s work. However, notions of authentic experience, the point of departure for the architect, are questioned by Pamela Rosenkranz’s research on the micro-level of the senses.

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