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Katja Loher Studio
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Katja Loher projects her videos onto the surface of large shiny orbs hanging in the gallery space. The artist has detached herself from the monitor and the black box whereby videos are projected onto one or several walls, opting instead to stage her works as spatial Videosculptures, which she calls Videoplanets and Miniverses. They are created in the artist's New York studio, in close co-operation with dancers, choreographers, musicians and designers. The Miniverses are small orbs whose insides serve as projection surfaces, with apertures that enable the outside world to look in. Like their larger counterparts, the Videoplanets, they reflect the human condition in a globalized world.
Loher's sculptural video works address a field of tension between escapist phantasy and oppressive reality. Her surreal worlds are populated by realistic figures that tumble about virtual spaces and appear to be intent on preventing ecological collapse. Androgynous dancers evoke fairies and - in performing the artificial pollination of plants or even photosynthesis - strive to conserve the natural basis of human existence.
Inspired by Pablo Neruda's Book of Questions, since 2005 Loher has been addressing the human basis of existence. Her complex video collages demonstrate metaphorically the far-reaching consequences of poetic questions such as, "Why did the bees leave?" Loher occasionally transforms questions into textual images by choreographing dancers to form letters which she then combines into words. And usually the words she has composed in her Videoalphabet are embedded in scenographies whose arc of suspense provides a contrast to the unfolding sentence or phrase and its possible interpretation.
Unlike the textual level that Loher introduces in some of her videos, the choreographies rarely betray narrative structure. The dancers' movements tend to be synchronic and the bodies seen from the bird's-eye view that Loher adopts in virtually all her works form clear patterns, which she then proceeds to multiply kaleidoscopically in the course of digital post-production. The symmetrical multiplication of moving bodies in constantly changing constellations produces a rhythmically pulsating collective. Loher's dream-like yet apocalyptic tales suggest that "Saving the Planet" can only be achieved by joining forces in a collective.
> Ruth Littman: Sculpting in Air, Gallery Andres Thalmann, Exhibition Catalogue
Katja's work has appeared internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions including MuBE, Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, Sao Paulo (2012), Municipality Gallery Netanya, Israel (2011), Venice Architecture Biennale, Arsenal (2010), MAXXI Museum in Rome (2010), United Nations Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo (2010), Biennale Chongqing (2009), Siggraph Asia in Yokohama (2009), Art40 Basel (2008), 798/Dashanzi Art festival Beijing (2007), Diva Digital & Video Art fair, NY (2006), Art Digital in Moscow (2005), the State Hermitage Museum in St. Peterburg (2005) and KKL Luzern (2005). Her work is featured in many private and public collections including Credit Suisse Collection, Geneva, eN Arts Collection, Tokyo Horsecross Collection, Perth, UK. In the last years she received several awards including TPC CreaTVty Award from the Swiss TV Production Center (2004), artist residencies in New York (2006), Berlin (2008) and Beijing (2009).
Choreographer: Saori Tsukada :: download CV ::
Assistants: Azumi Oe & Nozomi Yasuda- Wann
Studio Manager: Akio Sato
Finance: Lisa O'Connor
Architect: Andrea Liberni
Architect: Hans Focketyn
Audio Designer: Asako Fujimoto
Glass blower: Michiko Sakano
Katja Loher and Saori Tsukada, Photos: Gian Maria Annovi