Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Schering Stiftung Art Award 2014

For her first institutional exhibition, awarded as part of the Schering Stiftung Art Award, this year’s winner Kate Cooper has produced a new work comprising of video and photographic production especially for KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Through an extensive use of CGI techniques commercial photography and post-production, the show RIGGED highlights the labor inherent in the creation of images, looking at the position the female body has occupied in the history of digital image technology. Through the creation and re-rendering of images of the body, Cooper asks how these digital figures might perform in our place made real as downloadable, ultra-realized bodies.

Cooper is interested in the fictional spaces of universally understood advertising images, tests our experience of them and relationship to them and thus openly questions our conceptions of gender and labor they collectively generate. RIGGED explores new possible connections between bodies and images, and presents tensions between presence and invisibility. As digital images become our body doubles – expensive yet unpaid figures performing on our behalf – the labor inherent in these modes of production becomes re-focused in an economy of withdrawal. Our own bodies use a strategy of refusal; and camouflage as a technique of survival.

As Cooper states: “In our post-representational world – where images are dislocated and free-floating across networks – how can we renegotiate an agency to images, imbue them with power, make them work for us?”

RIGGED displays the human being itself as a commercial good, the billboard-sized figures, installed throughout the space, focus on the body as a place for communicating ideas; re-coding and re-configuring new meanings. As the rendered images become disturbingly realistic, Cooper’s doppelgangers surround the observer in their muted formations, and narrate their own illusionary potential, which is more permanent than flesh.

Kate Cooper, born 1984 in Liverpool, lives and works in London. As co-founder and director of the artist-run organisation Auto Italia, she has initiated projects investigating how artists can work together to invent and create new formats for artistic production. Past projects include: Viewing Copy, CIC, Cairo (2013), Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working, Auto Italia, London (2013), My Skin Is At War With A World Of Data, Artissima Art Fair, Turin (2012), Auto Italia LIVE, ICA, London (2012), It’s Like Staring Someone Out Who’s Not Even Looking At You, Tate Modern, London (2012). She was recently shortlisted for the Film and Video Umbrella Prize, What Will They See Of Me?, Jerwood Space, London, and CCA, Glasgow (2014).

The exhibition is curated by Ellen Blumenstein in cooperation with the Ernst Schering Foundation.
An exhibition catalog with the graphic design by Michael Oswell is published by Sternberg Verlag.

Kate Cooper: RIGGED
Schering Stiftung Art Award 2014


Sept 14, 2014 – Jan 11, 2015
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststr. 69 |10117 Berlin

Press Conference: Sept 11, 2014, 5 pm
Opening: Sept 13, 2014, 5-10 pm
Artist talk: Sept 20, 2014, 4 pm
with Kate Cooper and Fatima Hellberg, with an introduction by Ellen Blumenstein
Award Ceremony: Sept 20, 2014 7 pm (by invitation only)

Photo: © Kate Cooper, RIGGED, 2014, courtesy of the artist

Kate Cooper, RIGGED