September 27, 2016 - MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano - Judith Hopf: Up
September 27, 2016

MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano

Image: Judith Hopf.

Judith Hopf
October 1, 2016–January 8, 2017

Opening: September 30, 7pm, the artist will be present

MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano
Piazza Piero Siena, 1
39100 Bolzano

Museion presents the first solo show in an Italian museum by Judith Hopf (Karlsruhe, 1969).

Her works stand out for the playful spirit with which they deconstruct certainties and undermine social parameters and conventions; an ironic, self-deprecating awareness of human limits, and the use of slapstick, a deliberately amateurish language and simple, basic materials. These are the elements that characterise the work of Judith Hopf, invited by Museion for the unique position she occupies within the globalized, hyper-connected art world. The exhibition Up, which occupies the Passage area and the fourth floor of the museum, presents more than 30 works by the artist including videos, sculptures and drawings. Many of them, and the layout, also designed by the artist, have been produced for the show and forge a dialogue with the venue and its surrounding panorama. The relationship with the South Tyrol landscape can also be seen on the invitation for the exhibition, designed by the artist.

The exhibition starts on the ground floor of the museum, in the Passage area, with the video Lily's Laptop (2013), which eloquently reveals the artist's interest in all forms of subversion and the complexity of youth. The sense of limits and social exclusion are the focus of one of the artist's best known videos, Some End of Things: Conception of Youth (2011), which will be on show in a round structure, Husse 2 (2016), created for the occasion on the fourth floor. The fabric used to create the structure reflects the artist's preference for simple materials. As well as previous films, the exhibition also presents a new work, UP! (2016). In this videoanimation, produced in collaboration with Martin Ebner, a videographic anagram represents how things aspire to rise and then fall back down, in contrast to and as part of a contemporary landscape.

The artist's sculptures employ humour to dismantle the language of modernity, and she entrusts this task to animals, often with a definite anthropomorphic vein. In line with the ideas of Lévi-Strauss, animals are as a kind of symbolic and conceptual representation of human behaviour. Her cement sculpture Flock of Sheep (2016) pokes fun at the conventions of minimalist sculpture, but also the behaviour of visitors to contemporary art exhibitions. On display on the panoramic fourth floor of Museion, with its picture windows, these animal sculptures also communicate with the surrounding Alpine landscape. The same thing happens with the piece Raben (2016) a group of 14 crows initially constructed from medicine boxes and then remodelled in porcelain. Sitting on the railings by the windows, the crows reverse the practice of birdwatching—the birds appear to be watching the visitors, rather than vice versa.

Hopf's most recent works are in brick—Ball Kugel (2016), Rollkoffer (2016), Hand (2016) and Self Portrait with Problems (2016)—and allude to the limitations of physical experience, by setting up visual oxymorons or paradoxes: a foot, football and trolley bag so heavy and solid that their motion is frozen into place. Bricks not only feature in sculptures, but also function as architectural modules in the layout of the exhibition. The show includes a significant set of Hopf's collages too. Her anthropomorphic Waiting Laptops (2016) draw attention to the empathic relationship we develop with the objects we use every day: in an age of increasingly virtual relationships, for Hopf the physical and subjective experience remains central, and this is an essential key to her art.

Curated by Letizia Ragaglia

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Mousse Publishing in three languages (Italian/German/English) with texts by Roberto Pinto and Letizia Ragaglia, and an interview with the artist by Sabeth Buchmann.

Collateral program
October 13
Guided tour with the director Letizia Ragaglia, in Italian

8pm "Loose Forms": lecture by Sabeth Buchmann (Art historian and professor, Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna), in German

Every Thursday at 7pm
Guided tours in German and Italian

Every Saturday and Sunday 2–6pm
Art Dialogues

MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano
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