Gabi Steinhauser

Opening: Friday, September 7th, 5pm
Duration: September 8 – Oktober 13, 2012

An atmosphere of austerity surrounds the photographs of Gabi Steinhauser. Large, unframed and portrait format, they hang freely, suggestive of flags or banners. When displayed, Steinhauser’s photographs are calibrated into an exact relation with each other, in scale, number and combination. They describe structures: splintered glass, crumpled metal sheets, and elements of architecture, stairwells, steps and corridors. Non-narrative, unsentimental, the photographs appropriate the structures of their subjects into the mechanics of pure image construction.

Yet in the apparent narrative vacuum that they leave, their splinters and fractures, their incredible and brilliant colours begin to acquire an alternative and alien narrative form: the imagery of science fiction. The large scale of the photographs begins to suggest the opening credits of a sci-fi movie glowing on an up-ended cinema screen. Soon this imagery collapses, but it’s rejected afterimage dimly lingers on. Steinhauser’s photographs reveal as much in negation as their austerity constructs anew.

Alongside the photographs, Steinhauser has placed small pieces of furniture throughout the space. They mirror the sculptural attitudes of her photography: they are without function; they are not concerned with the nature of tables and benches. Glass tables with chrome legs stand in front of hanging glass plates and pieces of thin sheet metal. Cryptic, formal and teasing, these objects have only a superficial relationship with the designed interior. If Steinhauser makes an object that is not a table, it is so by almost being a table. From these non-similar but proximal points, a complex of coordinates can be plotted outwards, into increasing arcs of ambiguity.

Also shown are some of Steinhauser’s drawings on 1mm graph paper. These drawings eschew the dialogical tensions of representation and form inherent in the photographs and objects, whilst retaining an aura of austerity as a common quality. Acting out their own engagement with the complexities of image construction, precise linear marks shimmer and create optical confusion. Combined with the confusion of perspectives in Steinhauser’s photographs, and the ambiguity of intent in her objects, familiar relationships of correspondence, representation and recognition are coolly broken down.