Katharina Sieverding. Close Up “P.S.1 MoMA”
This is the first comprehensive survey in the United States of the Czech-born, German artist Katharina Sieverding (b.1944 Prague), one of the most significant artists working today. With over three decades of highly influential artistic practice spanning photography, film and installation, Katharina Sieverding: Close Up introduces her ground breaking body of work to an unfamiliar American public and highlights the artist’s lifelong commitment to explore the tenuous relationship between the individual and society.
Katharina Sieverding: Close Up focuses on the cinematic aspect of Sieverding’s photographic work, notably her large-scale self-portraits, which compose a significant portion of her oeuvre. Employing the close-up to challenge conceptions of the relationship between photography and cinema, Sieverding explores areas where these interdependent forms of media coincide and diverge. The exhibition presents the full range of Sieverding’s creative accomplishments, drawing a thread through her work from 1969 through the present. By concentrating on a selection of her most significant serial photographic installations, two films, and a group of monumental single photographs and archival material, it deepens the viewers insight into the extreme political and social climate of the late 1960’s and 1970’s.
Sieverding firmly believes that the responsibility of the artist is to act as a politically engaged being, absorbing, synthesizing and commenting on the rapid advancement of our technology-driven age. Sieverding’s choice to focus on photography justifiably brings to light questions about the medium’s attempt to document, reproduce and represent. Her oeuvre includes monumental photographic portraits that appropriate the scale of movie screens and billboards, while their abstract forms- the result of manipulation during the developing process – create images that transcend race, gender, and age. Her photographic works are endowed with a symbolic sense of presence and the ability to command a space, and thus embody a simultaneous commitment to the observer and the observed.
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