Isa Genzken “Ohr” at n.b.k. Billboard project, Berlin — Mousse Magazine and Publishing

Spanning five decades, the work of Isa Genzken is characterized by continuous processes of transformation, driven by her ongoing questioning of the notion of art. Her oeuvre encompasses diverse media, including sculpture, installation, photography, drawing, painting, and film. In the 1970s, Genzken cultivated a sculptural practice rooted in a critical examination of postwar German and American art as well as modernist architecture. Integral to Genzken’s artistic approach are references to realities conveyed through architecture, design, media, current sociopolitical issues, and the human body.

In 1980, Genzken produced two photo series that exemplify her interests in design and sculpture with sound and music. The first is a photographic appropriation of advertisements for hi-fi systems. The second shows close-ups of human ears as “something organic, something coming from the inside out, from the head,” according to the artist. For this twelve-part photo series entitled Ohr (Ear), she worked with women she encountered on the streets of New York. The images capture a tension arising from what seems like a contradiction between the anonymity of the photographed subject and the traditional style of portraiture, which typically aims to depict a specific individual. Presented in the n.b.k. Billboard series, Ohr reflects Genzken’s longstanding engagement with art in urban spaces, often questioning the lines between public and private.

at n.b.k. Billboard project, Berlin
until September 1, 2024

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