Karin Preller Stilled Lives 2015 | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Stilled Lives 2015 | Lizamore & Associates Johannesburg

An exhibition of paintings and drawings by Karin Preller at Lizamore & Associates Gallery Johannesburg, 3 - 26 September 2015

The more you 'inform' or supplement a photo, with various projections, retrojections and conjectures, the more trivial the photo becomes. You realize you are staring at nothing more than dead eyes; scraps of arbitrary dots, shadows and shapes. I care about the thingness of things. And people are things too; they're always in the process of becoming things. To be photographed is a profound aspect of the process of becoming thing. Photos are trivial things, which makes me care for them all the more.

Gerhard Schoeman. 2015. Short Shadows.

Stilled Lives is an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Karin Preller. As in previous exhibitions, the interaction between painting and photography remains pivotal to Preller's work. Her paintings reference photographically frozen moments which, by the obvious time expended on their laboured surfaces, uncover layers of nostalgia, amnesia, trauma and loss. The painted surface itself, ambiguously 'caught between' painted and photographic layers, is as much the subject matter of Preller's work as the chosen iconography.

Known mainly for her photo-based paintings referencing pictorial archives such as family albums, home movies and photo magazines, still life has remained an ongoing interest. In Stilled Lives the photographed object and the photograph as object interact with each other, emphasising both the nature of still life (as memento mori - reminders of the fragility and transience of existence) and of the photograph as already an object; as already a still life. Her focus on dolls becomes metaphoric of human relationships; of lives interrupted. Preller registers the dislocation and fragmentation of objects and snapshots from their past histories - of moments stilled in time. The interaction between the lifelessness of the dolls and images of childhood become a way of exploring the fragility of lives captured and lost - not only in the snapshot but also in the objects that we hoard, cherish and discard.

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