On view at Esther Schipper in Berlin, artist Karin Sander presents an enigmatic and unique installation under the title “What You See is Not What You Get” (22 Exhibitions). Combining a body of work to explore intriguing questions of space and presence, the artist presents bodies of work curated and then withheld from the public.
For the show, Sander has gathered different works from her oeuvre and from these she has curated 22 exhibitions, packing these particular, individual selections into transport crates and then closing them; the crates offer protection and sometimes contain instructions regarding the various, small- and large-format art works they hold. The exhibits are well kept in their transport crates, present in the gallery space but eluding visibility. Each transport box has its own size, bears its unique title, lists the materials used in the works, and contains what goes with the installation of the works and the respective exhibition. Three of the exhibitions include works from collaborations with artists Konstantin Grcic, Andreas Uebele and Harry Walter.
The result are a series of proposed concept shows, series of works collected but not shown, presented but remaining unopened to the public. Sander mines the nature of the artist’s presence, distributed across the global art world by dint of its centers of power, curatorial maneuvering and localized interests. Her work proposes bodies of work the public can not see, only intimate. In most cases, Sanders offers an approximation of the show, an augmented reality version of the shows. Visitors can use VR glasses to visit other exhibitions in the gallery virtually. For this piece, she had works 3D scanned and virtually installed on the walls. This visible, albeit in AR, presentation provides a counterpoint to the 22 physically present exhibitions – it lets visitors see works that are not physically present, while the works in the shipping crates are present but not visible. Thus, visual information meets augmented reality, the narrative of physical and conceptual content superimposed on the presence of augmented reality. These tensions of space and perception come to a head here, offering few answers but ample questions.
The show closes July 16th.
– D. Creahan
Esther Schipper [Exhibition Site]