“How Blue can Smoke Be?” Katja Loher solo exhibition
C-Space (Red No.1 – C1 & C2, Cao Changdi Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015, China) Nov 16, 2013 – Jan 5, 2014
Katja Loher’s work pays great attention to the conception and details of display. In her current solo exhibition at C-Space — a gallery good at presenting new media work — there are large orbs suspended in a planetary fashion from the ceiling on one side of the room, and on the other white discs framing little video screens and blown-glass bubbles with the footage playing inside magnified by the curvature, as well as wine glasses and plates on a platform on the floor. The eye finds moving images below it, above the line of sight, frontally on the wall and at waist-height. One might be reminded of that master of ocular arousal and contortion: fellow Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist.
Loher’s images play out in “miniverses” — little worlds populated by people in bee costumes, shuffling and fidgeting on kaleidoscopic honeycomb grounds, groups of costumed figures seen from above and moving as if synchronized, burgeoning flora or more sedately poetic shots of flying birds, for example, in the white circular mounts. These works employ not only the artist but choreographers, costume designers and videographers for their making. Quite grand assertions are made for their ecological tenor, including as they do flower forms, insects and skies. Coming before this, however, in terms of affect is the idea that the way in which the works are presented and their detailed, minute quality generates a private, somewhat theatrical experience of looking. The small works, indeed, pull one in, and there is a refreshing air around this playful, richly-colored show amid the capacious scale of Beijing’s galleries and muscular penchant for oil painting.