The Secret Life of Images


Anna Barriball (GB), Susan Hiller (US), Sofia Hultén (S), Stephanie Kiwitt (D), Elizabeth McAlpine (GB), Lucy Skaer (GB), Emily Wardill (GB)

Kunstverein Freiburg: 18. March – 1. May 2016

The Secret Life of Images explores the performative, theatrical, autobiographical, and political testimony embedded in various forms of abstraction. The geometrical facets of a sculpture, the decorative surface of a photograph or print, or the symmetries of a filmic image are reflective shields which prove to be vehicles for historical testimony, repositories of psychological self-exposure, or signs for the conflicted history of their media.

Obsolescent analogue representation is reimagined as an occultish medium, a magic requiring secrets to which we have access to. Sculptures that appear to forgo narrative structure conceal political or sexual intent. Social and personal histories are revealed by the residues that a process of production has left behind. An unforthcoming shell may be as deceptive as a seductive surface. Filmic and photographic images, that appear to conform to the commercial languages of melodrama or spectacle, unpack as critical tools to apply to the cultures out of which they have emerged.