Katrin Korfmann

Stockholm, 2.5–16.6  2013

Katrin Korfmann dedicates her artistic voice to investigations of time, spatial perception, and the behavior of people, both as individuals and as part of a flock. Her photographs challenge definitions, presenting landscapes without horizons and portraits without faces. Instead, the viewer is positioned as if high up in the air, looking down on public scenes below. Though shot on locations all around the world, the scenes in Korfmann’s digitally altered works are played out in an extended space of abstraction, a space she refers to as “space zero”. Here, Korfmann unites the rituals, habits and human interplay of diverse cultures through their visual elements.

Her images are perceived as hyper-realistic fragments of time, with a strong sense of authenticity. Korfmann plays with our perception when she, in a single frame and spatial arrangement visualizes sequential incidents, actually registered over a period of time, presenting them as one image. As a compressed cinematic experience conveyed in one image, what at first seems like a realistic rendition, is rather a vision of Korfmann’s subjective experience from that specific time and place, capturing the very feeling of it.

The center of this exhibition is Kolorit, an energetic triptych in which Korfmann’s artistic evolution is most striking. In earlier works, structural compositions were set against monochrome backgrounds; here the colors and human figures inhabiting the scene have united, with a heightened painterly quality as a result. Kolorit was shot in a small village south of Delhi, where 20,000 people gather yearly for the Holi festival, a Hindu feast to welcome the spring season. In this massive celebration of color, people throw pigmented powder and perfumed water at each other. The intense images in the triptych are shot from the same vantage point, showing the same crowd, with only the bursting changes of infectious colors to mark the passing of time.

Many of Katrin Korfmann’s works are somehow connected to the theories on Homo Ludens (the Playing Man), developed by the Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, a philosophy emphasizing the importance of play in society: play as freedom and a generator of culture. In many ways, Korfmann’s photography is the very rendering of Huizinga’s statement that “all play means something”. Because, whether it is a frozen lake in Amsterdam or a ballroom street dance in Shanghai, Korfmann assembles and reinterprets one of the most fundamental elements of human culture: the intrinsic need for playful interaction with our environment and each other. By doing so, Korfmann exhorts new readings of body, space and movement.

Katrin Korfmann, born 1971 in Berlin, lives and works in Amsterdam. After studying at Kunsthochschule Berlin and Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, she continued her studies with residencies at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Cittadellarte in Biella and Akademie der Kunste in Berlin. She has won several major art awards, including the Mama Cash Award in 2000, Prix de Rome in 2003 and Rado Star Prize Switzerland 2012. Since the late 90’s she has exhibited extensively, both regionally and abroad. This is Korfmann’s second exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandström.