Artist: Pamela Rosenkranz
Venue: Karma International, Zurich
Exhibition Title: The most important Body of Water is Yours
Date: April 17 – May 29, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Karma International, Zurich
Pamela Rosenkranz’ exhibition The most important Body of Water is Yours is built on the brand Evian and focuses on the topic of water. She combines several subject areas which she has been working on for quite some time now, such as the examination of different trademarks. On the wall there are six large-sized works on spandex (stretchable fabric for swimsuits), on which shapes in different skin tones appear in an expressionistic way.
The examination of stretchy, skintight drapery, often worn for sport, is already conceived in earlier works dealing with the sportive trademark ASICS (for example the balls wrapped in ASICpants “Imagine Your Color is a Ball“). On the other hand, the material refers to Zentai, a traditional Japanese theater, where skintight costumes are worn. From this a form of sexual fetishism has developed nowadays, where anonymous sex or exhibitionistic self-portrayal become possible in the internet. Spandex is as much a unique material as it functions as a second skin. At the same time it has a strong reference to water, because it is either used for bathing or for activities, where you sweat.
The stains on the clothes are evocative of body shapes and obtain a human component particularly due to the coloring in different skin tones. The shape “skin tone”, only existing in the field of cosmetics and make up, is a representation of the image of bodies, of the skin as the surface of the body. It carries an eerie component, because it can never be used abstractly or free of connotation.
The colors of the spandex-fabrics are taken from the color scale of Evian. They represent the identity of the water-brand, mediated by the commercials. Moreover, the title of the exhibition is a slightly modified version of an Evian slogan. The examination with the natural product water, which has been advertised as a product of health and beauty, circles around the question Rosenkranz asks about contemporary representations of body, health and beauty. Evian, who also sells products for the skin such as a moisturizing spray, is very suitable for these investigations. The idea, that water can clean the body from the inside, has been brought to the boil, including the misguided assumption of detoxification. But the interconnection of skin color and Evian is also laid out on other levels, for example in the statistic fact, that advertising that shows more skin increases sales.
In this exhibition the spandex-series circles around two sculptural works in the room: on the one hand an Evian-bottle, filled with skin-colored silicone, functioning like a short-circuit that reduces the idea of water as being capable of cleansing the body to absurdity. On the other hand there is a pillar of sand, which imitates the architecture of the room and evokes an allusion to the desert. It can be read as an antithesis to the theme of water: its rough and dried out structure and geometry accentuate the influence of the physical forms of the draperies and the Evian-bottle.
With The most important Body of Water is Yours, Rosenkranz takes up the topics of contemporary issues and phenomena of everyday life in her own way. She reduces them to absurdity using humorous turns, succinct and illogical short-circuits and poetic entanglements and at the same time cuts right to the chase.