Critics’ Picks

Jutta Koether, Viktoria, 2013, mixed media, 5 9/10 x 30 7/10 x 62 1/5”.

Jutta Koether, Viktoria, 2013, mixed media, 5 9/10 x 30 7/10 x 62 1/5”.


Jutta Koether

Campoli Presti | London
34 Bourdon Street
June 5–July 26, 2013

“The Double Session,” named for philosopher Jacques Derrida’s 1969 lecture, marks a continuation of Jutta Koether’s long-term exploration into notions of “double reading,” which is mainly enacted here by two visually and structurally alike sculpture pairings that, in being nearly substitutable for one another, draw close to Derrida’s conceit. Yet, Koether’s clear sensitivity to materials nearly eclipses this theoretical framework.

For instance, in the first room of the gallery, polyethylene and clear resin, now congealed, have been poured over a long white plinth for Viktoria (all works 2013). Dripping down its side, the material becomes a clear, candied pool at the base of this work. Atop the monolith sits a long oval-shaped glass platter filled with a collection of disparate accessories, such as coiled strings of pearls, nails and screws, an ID card belonging to the artist, and electric wiring. Under the platter, a pale pink-and-white-striped cloth ribbon drapes over the plinth’s edge in a combination with the glints of light from the resin that streams alongside it. This assembly is placed directly before two perpendicular walls covered with mirrors whose glass panels are so large that the surface distorts with indents and ripples, reflecting both the sculpture and the viewer in a vertiginous interplay.

The show’s second pairing in the anterior room demonstrates further attention to plasticity. It begins with Isabelle, a red-and-orange-toned gouache painting of the male member, which is suspended between glass panels framed in white and hung horizontally from the ceiling. This is positioned counter to Luise, another white plinth with a glass platter on which additional groupings of objects are placed. Among them are pink electric wires, a clear wine glass, a miniature mirror inserted into a gold bar, and a gold plastic oyster shell resting on blue glitter and congealed resin. The cumulative shimmer from the patinas of these objects heightens the tonal correspondence with the painting nearby, as if the exhibition’s components are vibrant—and merging—remnants from a kaleidoscopic event.