Lisa Oppenheim and Karl Larsson

Lisa Oppenheim and Karl Larsson

Kunstverein in Hamburg

Top: Lisa Oppenheim, Heliograms (From the Catalogues Of The Kunstverein in Hamburg), 2014. Bottom: Karl Larsson,
Emergency Poem, 2014. Kunstverein in Hamburg. Photos: Fred Dott.

November 23, 2014

Lisa Oppenheim: Forever Is Composed Of Nows
Karl Larsson: North Western Prose

September 27, 2014–January 18, 2015

Kunstverein in Hamburg
Klosterwall 23
20095 Hamburg
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday noon–6pm

The Kunstverein in Hamburg is delighted to present exhibitions by Lisa Oppenheim and Karl Larsson.

Over the past decade, American artist Lisa Oppenheim (b. 1975) has steadily developed a unique oeuvre exploring the use and transformation of pre-existing images. The exhibition, Forever is Composed of Nows, shows her most recent output. Oppenheim’s examination of photography is conceptual: her work engages material and techniques of the medium to question the conditions of image production. She explores photography’s indexical and documentary features and the way in which its technical apparatus is rooted in particular cultural and historical contexts. For her exhibition at the Kunstverein, Oppenheim introduces new materials such as textiles and ceramics as an extension of her investigation into photographic representation. 

The title of the show is a quote by Emily Dickinson and reveals a telling connection to the notion of history in relation to Oppenheim’s practice. While often using imagery from the recent or more distant past, Oppenheim always locates the experience of making and viewing in the present. Consistently in Oppenheim’s practice, representation and artistic process are collapsed. Images are reworked in the light of the literal and metaphorical present. A light in the darkroom produces an image of smoke from some other time that bears only a trace resemblance to the source. What matters is what has changed. 

Oppenheim was recently awarded the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize as well as the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography.

The exhibition is accompanied by the artist’s first monographic publication, developed in collaboration with Grazer Kunstverein and FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and published by Sternberg Press. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Rudolf Augstein Stiftung and Adolf Fette GmbH & Co KG.

How does a work of art begin to signify anything to the beholder? How does its meaning circulate? What narratives support it? The Swedish artist Karl Larsson (b. 1977) mixes an institutionally critical awareness concerning the material and ideological conditions of the work of art with poetic reflections on the existential and emotional prerequisites of artistic creation. In Hamburg, periods, materials and gestures are transferred to a space that describes an actual contemporary language climate: North Western Prose. In this language climate, everything has a function.

With the exhibition North Western Prose, Larsson continues his work in the intersecting margins of writing and language, poetry and installation. These diverse positions have coalesced in an artistic practice that can be described as both editorial and literary, but differs from writing in a conventional sense in its focus on spatial experience, embodiment and activism. Larsson’s application of poetical methodology to sculptural practice establishes a space between the object and the spectator, who is an active part of the artistic scenario. In doing so, the artist challenges the act of perception and questions existing modes of artistic critique to create a setting, in which thinking can start from a new position.

The exhibition is accompanied by the artist’s first monographic publication developed in collaboration with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, which will be published by Mousse Publishing. 

The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Philipp Otto Runge Stiftung, iaspis, and MIDAS Metall. Thanks to Galerie Nordenhake.

Press contact:  T +49 40 322158 / presse [​at​]

Lisa Oppenheim and Karl Larsson at Kunstverein in Hamburg
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Kunstverein in Hamburg
November 23, 2014

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