Badischer Kunstverein announces Kaucyila Brooke. Do You Want Me To Draw You A Diagram?

Badischer Kunstverein presents Kaucyila Brooke. Do You Want Me To Draw You A Diagram? on view 20 April–17 June 2012.

Kaucyila Brooke, “Spirals-Herrenhausen,” 2012, “Can We Talk?, Tit for Twat,” 1993, ongoing.

The selection ranges from early works from the 1980s to new works that Brooke has conceived especially for this exhibition. Brooke’s central medium is photography, which she also uses in collages of text and images. She also works with installations, drawings, and videos.

Kaucyila Brooke’s work is concerned with the mechanisms of power and representation and asks what possibilities exist for the individual to interrupt the dominant cultural codes. In a group of works from the 1980s and 90s, the determining principle is a montage of photos and text juxtaposing the patterns of traditional historiography with a formal language from popular and media culture, as in the expansive photo collage Tit for Twat (1993, ongoing). Stylistically, these panels of images and text take their lead from the narrative strategies of popular photo novellas and early cartoon strips. At the same time, it reveals the influence of film and media theories that have shaped the artist’s work, as have feminist and queer theories and analyses of biology and gender based on cultural theory. Brooke has conceived nine new panels for Tit for Twat that are being premiered at Badischer Kunstverein.

A second group of works is dedicated to photographic series and addresses issues of documentation and archiving. Brooke employs the format of the photographic document as an open form that incorporates rifts, voids, and omissions and questions the boundaries of a conventional transmission of knowledge. For Kathy Acker’s Clothes (1999–2004), Brooke photographed 154 different pieces of clothing that belonged to the American writer, who died in 1997. They capture the author’s succinct style and her mise-en-scène of her sexual identity. The photo series Family Group, After Morandi and After GLH (2012), conceived especially for this exhibition, similarily runs through the possibilities of a private matter in absence of the subject. The artist’s own collection of vases is staged as still lifes in the style of the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi and presented in different arrangements.

In the Kunstverein’s so-called Waldstrassensaal, a selection from the artist’s working archive is being presented for the first time. In a series of drawings titled Do You Want Me to Draw You a Diagram? (2004–2006), the artist playfully analyzes the thematic and formal connections between her works. These diagrams delineate the architectural structure of the projects and the code to access the archive and artistic practice of Kaucyila Brooke.

Kaucyila Brooke (b. 1952) lives in Los Angeles.

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstraße 3
76133 Karlsruhe, Germany

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