Tuesday, January 24, 2012

conceptual threads..

A recent comment led me to the incredible work of Canadian artist Germaine Koh. I am shocked and saddened that I have never heard of her. She is a highly conceptual artist that makes fascinating and often powerful work.

The piece that I was led to by a comment of a recent post was her project Knitwork a project she has been working on since 1992.

This is what she says about the work:

Knitwork is a life-long piece made by my unraveling used garments and re-knitting the yarn into a single continuously growing object. As it records the ongoing passage of time and effort, the work becomes a monument to the artifacts that comprise it, to mundane activity, and to everyday labour. As a visual record of the passage of time, the details of the piece incidentally register variations in my process, and through these one can retrace a history of decisions. Although the slow accumulation of layers of obsolete goods might recall geological processes, the limits of the piece are actually human; the work will be finished when I cease (to be). It is both sublime and resolutely absurd, both excessive and banal, both rigorous and formless; in other words, it is a practical test of the imagination.

She also has an ongoing piece titled Fete, which takes swags of the artists hair and attaches it to a celebratory garland. She attaches each swag in chronological order so one can see the changes in health and color of her hair as she ages and goes through the ups and downs of life.

A few other pieces that caught my eye are an installation made from ball bearings dropping intermittently from the ceiling to fall and arrange themselves on the floor.

And I love the piece Fallow in which she installs the literal land from a specific area into the gallery, the land itself changes with each installation. She describes the piece as instead of displaying a crop of new work, for one exhibition period the space lies fallow.

Or a la Sophie Calle & Tracey Emin she takes her personal journal entries and posts them in the classifieds or on billboards.

She has a huge amount of equally fascinating projects over at her website. I love how thoughtful and yet in the end simple and stripped down her work is. She utilizes only what she needs to express her thoughts and concerns. Even if all that is required is fog.


ronnie said...

THANK YOU for posting this - I wasn't aware of Germaine, yet her work resonates LOUDLY with my practice (esp that ongoing knit project - how fab!) I'm running off to see what else I can find of her work

Joetta M. said...

I know I was SO glad she was brought to my attention as her work is just wonderful and fascinating. There is a great interview on her website on the Knitted piece page. So worth the listen.

Kit Lang said...

Thank you for this post! I can`t wait to explore more of her work.

Joetta M. said...

sooo explore worthy. her work is awesome.

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