Bespoke Gallery is pleased to present Could Be, Katja Stuke’s first solo exhibit with the gallery. A reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, September 11th from 6 to 8 p.m.
The photographs in Could Be were taken by Stuke of video camera footage she previously captured on city streets in China, Japan, Canada, the US and Germany.
The subjects in the photographs, seemingly unaware of the videographer, are in mid-action, mid-thought, mid-daze. The commonplace and universal scenes Stuke presents resonate with the narrative suggestion of imminent drama. Her compositions imbue the non-incidents that they capture with a heightened gravity and a palpable sense of uneasiness.
The low-resolution, pixilated distortion and video screen striations visible on Stuke’s photographs are a constant reminder that the video footage portraits are twice removed from their unknowing subjects. The images become new media in their own right.
Stuke’s process highlights our tendency to judge images not only through the lens of our own experiences but also according to a prism informed by a barrage of other pre-recorded visual stimuli and an evolving system of connotative symbolisms.
Stuke’s work references the culture of news media, and our growing addiction to its product. Her work also addresses the ubiquity of street surveillance cameras, our behavior in relation to public and private domains and the way we subsequently relate to our own images and our humanity.
Chris Marker, who has employed a similar technique in his photographic work, described his concept of Superluminal (in contrast to Subliminal) as “a frame lost in a stream of identical frames.” Along these lines, when viewed in the context of a singular moment captured within a frame or an ethereal instant in a seemingly infinite sequence of similar moments, the intrinsic pathos of a snap shot is afforded a new and powerful dramatic dimension.
Stuke was born and currently resides in Düsseldorf, Germany. She studied Visual Communications/Photo/Video at the University Of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf. Stuke has won numerous awards, including the Merit Aenne Biermann, the 1st Price des European Award for Women Photography and the Merit des Art Directors Club in New York. In 2005 she was an artist in residence at the Goethe Institute in Toronto and the following year she was an artist in residence at Art-Ex in Osaka, Japan.
This exhibit coincides with the publication of Could Be, Stuke’s book of photographs, published by Kodoji Press, 2008.