Katharina Sieverding


German artist Katharina Sieverding is oddly little known, or at least little shown, in the United States. In organizing the first comprehensive survey of her work in this country, curator Alanna Heiss—assisted by Amy Smith Stewart and Daniel Marzona—has focused on the artist’s photo- and film-based self-portraits, which comprise an oeuvre within an oeuvre that underpins Sieverding’s broader interrogations of the subject as a node of potential resistance within political, sexual, and cultural matrices.

At P.S. 1, serial groupings of photos, film stills, and slide projections relentlessly present and re-present the image of Sieverding’s face, which morphs according to the vicissitudes of lighting, angle, makeup, and a multifarious array of technical manipulations. The artist’s countenance is unnervingly protean—sometimes she resembles a Helmut Newton vamp, sometimes a lumpen hausfrau—but

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