PHOXXI 27 October 2023 — 21 January 2024

Kathrin Linkersdorff’s (*1966) fascinating large-scale works fluctuate between art and science. With experiments in which the artist explores the nature of plants and thus offers an enlarged view of their fragile inner structures, she works at the intersection of photography and botany. She deliberately sets processes of decay in motion in order to expose the inner structure of flowers and other plants. She captures their revealed structures in staged photographs, for which she uses a variety of photographic techniques, from dye transfer to high-quality archival pigment prints on special cotton paper. Her thinking and the aesthetics of her photographs are rooted in the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, according to which beauty is the acceptance of impermanence, imperfection, and vulnerability.

For her series Fairies, the artist first collects tulips and carefully dries them over a period of several weeks. During this time, she extracts the pigments from the flowers, which she then reconcentrates into a natural dye. She then immerses the dried, translucent flowers in a liquid medium in which their petals unfold.

In her new research project, which will be shown for the first time at PHOXXI she makes use of bacteria. The resulting new series of works will be created in collaboration with the microbiologist Prof. Dr. Regine Hengge from the Humboldt University in Berlin. In order to visualize processes that materials undergo in nature, discolored plants and fruits will serve as a growth substrate for bacteria, which form morphologically differentiated and spectacularly colorful colonies with their colored antibiotics. The complex interplay of growth and decay in nature is thus made directly visible.

The exhibiton is curated by Ingo Taubhorn.

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