Critics’ Picks

Karin Sander, 46.588804, 9.886150, 2095 m, 04.09.2013, 10:54:13, 2013, C-print, 22 1/2 x 17 3/4”.


Karin Sander

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Grünangergasse 1
May 17–June 18

For Karin Sander’s series “Call Shots,” 2013–14, the artist had the software of her cell phone programmed so that every time she took a call, the phone’s camera would be triggered, creating the images that are displayed here in her latest exhibition. The titles of the works are derived from the GPS coordinates of where the photos were taken. For example, 46.588804, 9.886150, 2095 m, 04.09.2013, 10:54:13, 2013, depicting a scene that might have occurred in a car or in a plane, was shot on the Albula Pass in Switzerland.

The images produced through this process are varied. Some are completely abstract, while others capture more visually tangible yet mundane scenes. They also showcase the artist herself. Two white gallery pedestals on a terrazzo floor in 52.532658, 13.358781, 36 m; 21.09.2013 11:52:17, 2013, for example, allude to the artist at work. The dirty keyboard of a laptop, a stack of paper, and a crumpled bed sheet in another group show the artist at home. A multitude of floors and even more fingers and shoes in the rest show the artist in transit. Altogether, the images leave space for chance as their creative driver, only to be limited by the defined parameters of the medium’s software program.

Alongside “Call Shots” the artist exhibits another series, titled “Mailed Paintings,” which she has been developing since 2005. These paintings have been sent unpacked through the mail, and the traces left behind on the primed canvases during the shipping process, including the many stamps and stickers used by the postal service, yield the works’ content. Here, too, chance plays an essential role in the artist’s work. Sander shows that one can formulate a critique of systems in a playful, humorous, and, in terms of formal aesthetics, extremely appealing way.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.