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View of “Katja Novitskova,” 2012–13. Foreground: Approximation I, 2012. Background: Win Win, 2012.

Katja Novitskova

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

View of “Katja Novitskova,” 2012–13. Foreground: Approximation I, 2012. Background: Win Win, 2012.

The two most eye-catching objects in Katja Novitskova’s recent show were images of animals mounted on aluminum cutouts: a stately pair of emperor penguins standing across from each other (Approximation I; all works 2012) and the head of a young giraffe nuzzling its mother (Approximation II). Although the former is adapted from an entry to a National Geographic photo competition, this backstory is hardly relevant: Both images have long since dispersed and multiplied online on sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest. Removed from their original context, they boast an attractiveness—as images, which is to say, as sites for affective identification—that is part of the sustained and radical argument of Novitskova’s exhibition.

Like others exploring the “post-Internet” condition, Novitskova, an Estonian artist based in Amsterdam, sees that the lines between image and referent,

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