Kerstin Brätsch + Judith Hopf
Giugno - Settembre 2021
Following the success of Trasformazione, the first edition of art installations in vacant storefronts in Milan’s fashion luxury district in spring 2021, ATO Art Takes Over presented a second edition of its program. ATO Art Takes Over thus renewed its commitment to the urban regeneration of the high-class shopping district in the center of Milan known as Quadrilatero della Moda (“Fashion District) situated between Via della Spiga and Via Montenapoleone, affected by the recent pandemic.
In collaboration with Milan galleries Gió Marconi and Kaufmann Repetto, as well as with the owners of the commercial spaces involved, Unterwegs (“In viaggio”) displayed works by Kerstin Brätsch and Judith Hopf, internationally renowned German artists, in the windows of Via della Spiga 48 in Milan. The works, designed specifically for this exhibition, were yet again visible to the public through the windows 24 hours a day.
Both these artists are interested in the critical scrutiny of the contemporary digital dependance, their works encompass painting, sculpture and installation.
Fascinated by ancient art techniques and alchemical transformations of materials, Kerstin Brätsch presented a marbling painting on paper and a series of self-supporting structure, partially illuminated by neon light, which incorporate ancient glasses made in Switzerland and subsequently reworked. On display was also a stucco from the latest series of work curated by the German artist using the marble stucco technique, in collaboration with Roman craftsman Walter Cipriani. This process uses the 17th century Italian technique in which the pigments are mixed with wet plaster and glued and finally polished to create a marble effect.
Judith Hopfs aims to provoke gaps in power, inserting slap-stick humor, the domestic and absurd into the space of art, questioning our preconceptions and stereotypes. The exponentially growing importance of digital communication was addressed in Untitled (Email Lines) where three strings of violet, blue and green LED lights were suspended from the ceiling, reminding us of the ever-present influx of emails distracting contemporary life. Next to this installation, a group of precious, brutalist animals was invading the space: the herbivores depicted in Flock of Sheep were expressionless and immobile – a gesture, as the artist put it, “to the flexible society we live in, where we are always ready to move from one job to the next”.
In Openings, gauzy fabrics were decorated with the batik technique. Inspired by 18th century wallpaper, illustrating colonial life, the artist reinterprets these territories as island, permeated by mysterious signs, promoting us to open our eyes to inner worlds, indefinable by society’s norms and parameters.