Contributed by Loren Britton / Berlin-based artist�Judith Hopf,�known for idiosyncratic combinations,�is invested in post-painting practices coming out of Fluxus conversations between George Brecht and Allan Kaprow. In her sculpture show �Judith Hopf: Stepping Stairs� at the�KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, she�moves�from sculpture to exhibition furniture and back, the transformed everyday materials in the�exhibition constituting�hybrids in material, form, function, content, meaning, and use.
Hopf refers to�Felix Gonzales-Torres’ beaded curtain,�installed in the lobby into the main gallery, via�two symmetrical strips with LED lights hanging in groupings of three�titled Untitled (Email Lines). The press release�explains that these are:
�a physical manifestation of the seemingly endless back and forth conversations that we carry around dematerialized on our devices. Untitled (Email Lines) questions how communication can be defined nowadays,�especially in regards to the relationship between work and leisure, since both are widely pursued through the same device.
Hopf�s Untitled (Laptop Men) are scattered in the next room. As though stumbling onto Seurat�s Island of La Grande Jatte,�the figures are seated, at mid-height, or fully standing, each perched in unique harmony with its�laptop. It’s as though each laptop had been�fused with its user. Embedded in this work is Hopf�s�penetrating observation that people, both in interacting with others and in merely entertaining themselves, have�in a psychologically real sense�become their�screens. This body / screen / hybrid / support reality complements�artist Jillian Mayer�s Slumpies (on view��at Postmasters through March 31), for�which Mayer�has�created new supports for the body allowing humans and their phone screens to�be more in synch. Mayer, at least in prototype, seems to realize the physical requirements that Hopf imagines in her sculptures.
Finally, in the room�on the lowest level of the gallery space, Hopf�s remarkable brick sculptures, accompanied by two videos shown behind a black satin curtain.�These pieces conjure hands, walls (tall and small), balls, pears, and dividers. They�call on considerable technical capability and skill: a very fast circular saw or sander and an extremely deft touch�must have been needed to craft�form from such�porous�material.�The hand sculptures�seem to be conveying�coded messages, though their specific meaning is obscure. At the same time, the solidity and�weight of the sculptures�are palpable, and conceptually encourage slow and deliberate contemplation of what that meaning might be.
“Judith Hopf:�Stepping Stairs,”�KW Institute�for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany. Through April 15, 2018.
About the author:�A recent graduate of Yale�s�MFA program,�Loren Britton� is a co-founder of the curatorial projects �Improvised Showboat�(with Zachary Keeting),�lcqueryprojects�(with Christie DeNizio), and�Queering Space. Britton�also maintains a solo curatorial and art practice that shape-shifts in form from project to project.