Katinka Bock. Der Sonnenstich
Firmly rooted in the field of sculpture, Katinka Bock’s art has remained permeable to the production of imagery – filmic, and above all, photographic. Photography constitutes what she calls the “periphery” of her work: a practice that she develops at its margins; but that also functions, between her and the world, as a threshold, as a site of porosity and experimentation. For about a decade, this photographic practice has notably flourished in the pages of a series of publications exclusively containing images: the One of Hundred. It also often appears within the artist's exhibitions, in conjunction with her sculptures.
Der Sonnenstich is the first exhibition by Katinka Bock to focus on her photographic work. Produced on this occasion, the sixty-five or so prints that comprise it – mainly black-and-white images, but also several images in colour – collate photographs taken between 2015 and the present day, most of which had never previously been exhibited.
Created within a familial, urban, or natural context, often within close proximity to the subjects on which they focus, the images in the exhibition attest to the “sculptural” view that Katinka Bock brings to bear on objects, spaces, bodies, and living organisms. It is often the observation of the singularity of a form or relationship that inspires her images. As with her sculptures, she works quickly and spontaneously, careful to capture something of the vitality of the world and to liberate the image from too much control or too strong an intention. The “delay” that the use of the traditional non-digital procedure involves contributes, paradoxically, to preserving this dynamic.
In the exhibition, Katinka Bock’s photographs are presented in a scenography that Katinka Bock has designed for the spaces of the Fondation Pernod Ricard. This arrangement comprises hanging panels, each offering two contrasting sides: one made of fabric, (warm, matte, variegated); the other out of aluminium (cold, smooth, reflective). Forming a broken line, enamelled ceramic pieces highlight the “edges” – a notion the artist is fond of – within the venue’s architecture.
Der Sonnenstich means “sunstroke” in German, but a more literal translation, focusing on the two words this term comprises, Sonne and Stich, would be: “the sting of sun”. Borrowed from a story written by Katinka Bock’s grandfather, and repeated in a poem that she herself recently published, this title interested the artist for the state of ambiguity and awkwardness that it suggests, but also for its reference to the sun, to light. Here it more specifically echoes different terms linked to the history of photography, which, from William Henry Fox Talbot’s “nature’s pencil” to the Roland Barthes’ famous “punctum” (sting, stitch), to the word photography itself, have seen the image as a site of inscription. For Katinka Bock, “sting of sun” is another way of saying “photography”.
Christophe Gallois, curator of the exhibition
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Roma Publications (Amsterdam), with graphic design by Roger Willems, containing an introduction by Christophe Gallois and an essay by Australian writer and art critic Amelia Groom, commissioned within the framework of the TextWork platform by the Fondation Pernod Ricard.
(92 p., 24 x 31,5 cm. English / French. ISBN: 978946440346. 30€)
Picture : (c) Katinka Bock, Some and any fleeting,7, 2022, Tirage gelatino-argentique, 24,5 x 37 cm.
Courtesy of every picture : Katinka Bock ; Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Romainville ; Meyer Riegger, Berlin / Karlsruhe ; Galerie Greta Meert, Bruxelles ; 303 Gallery, New York