Solo show by Karin Kaster
new paintings, sculptures and installation.
Opening reception Freday 24 August, 16-20
The exhibition ends 22. september, 2007
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A postmodernistic Wunderkammer
Karin Kaster's 'miracle theatre' mixes symbols of truth and innocence with signs of falsification, simulation and dark mystique. This artist's unusual staging of glittering curiosities and marvellous curios remind us of the Wunderkammer - 'wonder rooms' or cabinets of curiosities, as they were called - of the past, in which a multitude of objects from all corners of the world were gathered together in wonderful - but not always immaculate - harmony.
The cabinets of curiosities owned by European princes during the Renaissance formed the basis for today's museums of art, culture and natural history. Unlike the research-based rooms of museums today, a cabinet of curiosities was always a kind of magical place filled not just with pictorial art, antiques, ethnographic items, religious relics and weapons, but also with stranger objects such as unicorn horns or horse jawbones partially embedded in wood. Cabinets of curiosities were microcosmic reflections of man's image of the world and thus reflected the particular beliefs and convictions of the time. Seeing one of these early collections can be compared with the first learning experiences of childhood.
The combination of curiosity, magic and imagination that is connected with both 'wonder rooms' and our childhood years lives on in the Karin Kaster exhibition Treasure. The cornucopia of elements in the exhibition paintings expand into three dimensions and entice the viewer with an installationary mix of surprises, romance, Christmas bonhomie and a birthday party atmosphere. Kaster's 'wonder art' speaks to the child in all of us, as our immediate impulse is to explore this unorthodox and many-faceted universe.
Huge pearls in gaping-wide clamshells, decadent clay figurines, sparkling diamonds, coloured shiny balls and big red hearts. It is difficult not to become enthusiastic and get carried away. But just as the child must grow up, the 'researcher' in us all comes to the fore. As we take a closer look behind the gorgeous bling-bling surfaces, it is difficult to see anything but emptiness - or decay and decomposition. So we observe how black and white mites crawl out from under the shiny stage props. The glitter remains on Kaster's shiny decoration only a short while; then the veneer cracks, and pus oozes out - the dark kind.
Calmly pull a hand-drawn treasure map across your inner landscape, over the labyrinth of your mind - and willingly lose yourself in this cosmos. Follow, if you will, the moth, a creature of the dark whose freedom from space and restrictions shows us the way to an infinite dimension - for it is here the real treasure lies buried.