Josephine Pryde

Josephine Pryde

Work from Miss Austen Enjoys Photography.

“…Although she makes use of the technical and iconic potential of photography in its various forms in order to create visually attractive and conceptually precise images, it should not be overlooked that her work also encompasses a great variety of artistic media and, indeed, even incorporates the format of the exhibition itself.

Thus Josephine Pryde’s current intention in the show at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, has a dual aspect. In the form of a new, immediate photographic work produced on site, the artist has created a framework narrative for this retrospective – her first in a museum context – of her photographic and artistic oeuvre over the past two decades. This retrospective of her own oeuvre thus becomes the object of her new work which has been conceived especially for this event. For two days an arrangement for taking photographs has been set up within the exhibition rooms in the Kunstverein.

The new black and white/colour photographs of guinea pigs compliment the large-format images and objects from the series “Therapie Thank You” and “Therapie Thank You Thank You” (both 2010). The components of both exhibitions have been combined for the first time for this show. A diverse selection of older works completes the presentation. This combination conveys a clear impression of the broad spectrum of Josephine Pryde’s work and, at the same time, demonstrates its pronounced specificity. This selection also shows the extent to which her work generates a dynamic tension by juxtaposing visual and conceptual strategies, in order to produce specific references and levels of interpretation in keeping with the given occasion or situation. Moreover, the images themselves are extraordinarily attractive.

As a pictorial motif, guinea pigs conjure up a number of associations, ranging from their use as pets – particularly popular among small children – to their typical deployment in laboratory research, which is directly reflected in the usage of guinea pig in English to denote a person or thing used for experimentation.

Josephine Pryde’s photographic oeuvre presents itself as a wholly diverse, indeed, combatively different amalgam that incorporates photographic and technical darkroom experiments as well as pictorial models reminiscent of amateur snapshots or professional studio photographs. Miss Austen Enjoys Photography. doesn’t merely presents individual objects – the exhibition also generates specific contexts. On the one hand, the show pursues the general question regarding what it might mean today, from an artistic or institutional point of view, to stage exhibitions; in this way, it conceptually opens up “exhibiting” from the perspective of production and its communication within the museum-based context.  On the other hand, the question is immediately referred back to images and objects in the exhibition which, for their part, are bound up with the exhibition situation itself and even treat it thematically…” – Kunstverein Düsseldorf

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