The Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present Archive, its third solo show with Annette Kelm. Interested in typologies, models of mass production, the function of objects and the nature of their representation, stylistic developments in patterned textiles, design, and technology, Annette Kelm’swork conflates several genres in single images, or develops single motifs in series of images that combine a variety of artistic, historical, and cross-cultural references.
Kelm newest photographs belie an interest in cultural history based on her investigations of archives and institutional modes of representation. Three bodies of works form the exhibition: images of vitrines,taken in German museums that capture the style of the 70s and 80s, images of pink overalls arranged in the artist’s studio, and photographs of white cloaks painted with protest slogans. The works are tied to second wave feminist movement (1960s-1980s) in Germany.
The artist explores aesthetical forms of protest with Latzhose (Dungarees), “Relaxed” and “Kicking Leg”, 2014 – two works in which the photographed object is a pair of purple overalls arranged and displayed on the background of Kelm’s studio floor. In Germany during the 70’s overalls (dungarees) were perceived as typical men’s work wear, but female activists and their supporters dyed them purple - red conventionally stood for the female and blue for male, therefore purple was the color in between,ultimately becoming a symbol of women’s liberation in some European countries.
Another series of photographs in the exhibition relates to the work of actress, sociologist and activist Hannelore Mabry (1930-2013), who resided in Munich from 1966 until her death in 2013, as well as other members of the Förderkreis zum Aufbau der Feministischen Partei (from the 1990 called Förderkreis Der Feminist) in Germany. Intentionally deploying a direct and documentary-like style, the photographs depict Körperüberhänge (body cloaks), in the archive of Munich’s Institut fürZeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History), which were worn during demonstrations. These robes and capes were made out of bed sheets and painted with large letters and bold political slogans.
Finally, a third group of works investigate the presentation of the purple overalls in different typologies of museums in Germany, where the items are contextualized historically rather than from a political point of view. The two photographs in the show were taken respectively at the Stadtmuseum in Munich in the occasion of a show about fashion in 70s, and at the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe, where the dungarees are permanently on view in a vitrine showing items from the 80s.
Annette Kelm (*1975, Stuttgart, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at international institutions, including Kölnischer Kunstverein (2014), Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (2012), Bonner Kunstverein (2011), Art Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2009), Kunsthalle Zurich (2009) and CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2008). In addition, Annette Kelm's works were featured in numerous group exhibitions, most recently at Espace Louis Vuitton, Munich (2014), MoMA, New York (2013) and Frankfurter Kunstverein (2013). In 2012 she participated in the 12th Istanbul Biennial and 2011 in the 54th Venice Biennial.