Private view: Thursday 27 January 2011, 6-8pm
Exhibition dates: 28 January – 5 March 2011
Maria Stenfors is proud to present Julia Pfeiffer’s first solo exhibition in London. The exhibition title ‘Hope Creeping Out The Jar’ refers to the ancient Greek myth of Pandora’s box. Trapped inside the box (pithos) that Pandora was asked to guard and not to open by Zeus were not only all the evils and plagues of the world but also hope. Her curiosity makes her open it and by that releasing all the illness and evils upon the world. Depending on version or interpretation of the myth, hope gets trapped in the jar or is last to creep out, allowing for the insight that hope may be the most evil of all?
The exhibition consists of ceramic works and black and white photography. The ceramic sculptures are mostly figurative replicas of everyday objects in true size. This makes them oscillate between being a model or a galvanized replica of the original object. Key is the interest in the pending moment when the ceramics objects turn into art –the frozen moment where they become ‘Still Lives’. The objects not being the original and at the same time lacking the effort to be expressive they can be doubted to be art which gives them an undefined liberating space. Reminiscing of baroque still lives where the decay and the wondering are captured in an unseizable intermediate state of in-between.
In contrast to the ceramics that captures stillness Pfeiffer’s photographic work captures motion. The conditions for the photographs are generally the same, black and white film, camera shutter set to long exposure time and always in the darkness of her studio. The objects in the image are illuminated with a simple source of light. Throughout the exposure Pfeiffer walks in and out of the shot, re-arranging the light. In the photographs we can see lines and traces of light and with that the movement of the artist in the room become visible. An arranged action, a recording of movement and time, creates a seductive invitation to follow.
Central to Julia Pfeiffer’s work is that the meaning of signs is generated through context and structure. Art being a structure that can separate itself from other contexts and transform the signs without excluding the meaning. Of importance is also beauty and it’s ability to act as a trigger for the understanding of art as a sensual movement. Evidence of Pfeiffer’s keen interest in Sigmund Freud and psychoanalyses can also be found in her work as a concept to get to the subject by including it’s poetic aspects. Hyperlink thinking where associations in words, objects, forms and textures are allowed (liberated) to evolve new patterns of the imagination. Through Pfeiffer’s work we thus get the impression of entering a strange unknown territory of the familiar and already known.
Julia Pfeiffer (b.1975, Germany) lives and works in Berlin, Germany.