Annete Kelm @ Johann König Galerie, March 23rd, 2012

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Annete Kelm‘s new works show the lines of physical forces caused by the random scattering and piling of iron shavings on yellow and green paper backgrounds. At first glance, one might see as depictions of experimental systems such as those used to represent ferromagnetic forces in the lexical entries on Wikipedia or in the school experiments, in other words -scientific photography. This impression is shaken by Annette Kelm’s use of diffused light and various dispersions. Some of the photographic works create and almost three dimensional effect where on closer examination, lines disolve into powdery, jagged piles of dirt or smears, whereas some are still clearly recognizable as magnetic field lines. Two still lifes of poppies and a repeated motif of the iron shavings interrupt the latters’ seriality.

Since its discovery in antiquity, magnetism is a motif that has been placed in various categories and classification systems. The story of science has largely been shaped by its functions. Present in electromagnetic data carriers, electric generators, transformers as well as MRI scanners, it plays a decisive role in both daily life and critical science. Up until the last century, alongside its discovery and early applications in the natural sciences, magnetism was also seen as a mysterious phenomenon. The attraction and repulsion of two magnets has been understood as an allegory for love and hatred between people. To date, magnetism is veiled within the manifestation of the magical.

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Exhibition: 25.03 – 21.04.2012

Text source: Hardcopied press release @ the gallery.


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