22 Novem¬≠ber ‚Äď 21 Decem¬≠ber 2013
Cole, Lon­don

Dag¬≠mar Hepp¬≠ner is inte¬≠res¬≠ted in how we per¬≠cei¬≠ve our own envi¬≠ron¬≠ments and how this leads to an under¬≠stan¬≠ding of our defi¬≠ni¬≠ti¬≠on of self. Working with sculp¬≠tu¬≠ral forms that often deploy fabrics to sug¬≠gest human envi¬≠ron¬≠ments, Hepp¬≠ner uses objects to sug¬≠gest the pre¬≠sence and absence of peo¬≠p¬≠le. The¬≠re is a sen¬≠se of dis¬≠pla¬≠ce¬≠ment in the work ‚Äď things are miss¬≠ing, or objects only part¬≠ly reve¬≠al them¬≠sel¬≠ves, offe¬≠ring clues but lack¬≠ing the final keys of infor¬≠ma¬≠ti¬≠on. The cen¬≠tral sculp¬≠tures in Through stem from tales of how anci¬≠ent civi¬≠li¬≠sa¬≠ti¬≠ons sought to defi¬≠ne their ter¬≠ri¬≠to¬≠ry by pla¬≠cing sta¬≠kes in the cent¬≠re of their vil¬≠la¬≠ges in order to iden¬≠ti¬≠fy a safe and known space among¬≠st an unknown world. This basic sym¬≠bol of con¬≠quest that came about through a need to defi¬≠ne a secu¬≠re place repres¬≠ents an exam¬≠p¬≠le of human beha¬≠viour or theo¬≠ry that may be enti¬≠re¬≠ly futi¬≠le but was an important act of self assu¬≠rance. Hepp¬≠ner is inte¬≠res¬≠ted in the ambi¬≠gui¬≠ty of such objects, in that they rela¬≠te to a pur¬≠po¬≠se, albeit a mis¬≠gui¬≠ded one. The use of fabric intro¬≠du¬≠ces a fami¬≠li¬≠ar lan¬≠guage, enab¬≠ling a rela¬≠ti¬≠onship bet¬≠ween view¬≠er and object, some¬≠thing within the form that can be rela¬≠ted to. This prods at our means of per¬≠cep¬≠ti¬≠on, as we reco¬≠gni¬≠ze a fami¬≠li¬≠ar ele¬≠ment within a for¬≠eign form. A rope appearing through the rear wall of the gal¬≠lery space per¬≠forms a simi¬≠lar role as the known boun¬≠da¬≠ry of the space is punc¬≠tu¬≠red by this simp¬≠le act. In the down¬≠s¬≠tairs gal¬≠lery, doors lea¬≠ding off the space are shrou¬≠ded with ele¬≠gant dra¬≠pe¬≠ries, soft¬≠ly obscu¬≠ring and recon¬≠fi¬≠gu¬≠ring the uncom¬≠pro¬≠mi¬≠sing com¬≠bi¬≠na¬≠ti¬≠on of con¬≠cre¬≠te flo¬≠or, strip lights and white walls. Hepp¬≠ner uses fabric to con¬≠sider the rela¬≠ti¬≠onship bet¬≠ween image and sculp¬≠tu¬≠re. Fabric is essen¬≠ti¬≠al¬≠ly flat, but being a fle¬≠xi¬≠ble mate¬≠ri¬≠al it can quick¬≠ly beco¬≠me three dimen¬≠sio¬≠nal by dra¬≠ping it, thus crea¬≠ting works that exist on the edge of being two or three dimen¬≠sio¬≠nal. Forms and images exist as mas¬≠ses rather than spe¬≠ci¬≠fic ele¬≠ments, with ori¬≠gi¬≠nal items or objects ope¬≠ning up to abs¬≠trac¬≠tion. A knit¬≠ted wool¬≠len pull¬≠over is picked apart and unra¬≠ve¬≠led, lea¬≠ving behind an unru¬≠ly mess, the mate¬≠ri¬≠al alo¬≠ne allu¬≠ding to its for¬≠mer func¬≠tion. A simi¬≠lar pro¬≠cess occurs in the print of an adapt¬≠ed sewing pat¬≠tern for a dress. What should be con¬≠ver¬≠ted into three dimen¬≠si¬≠ons is kept flat on a sur¬≠face, blur¬≠ring its infor¬≠ma¬≠ti¬≠on by rear¬≠ran¬≠ging and over¬≠lay¬≠ing the forms. The once clear gui¬≠de¬≠lines for a pie¬≠ce of clot¬≠hing are trans¬≠for¬≠med into a geo¬≠me¬≠tri¬≠cal design, again obfus¬≠ca¬≠ting the ori¬≠gi¬≠nal pur¬≠po¬≠se and func¬≠tion of the pat¬≠tern. An ele¬≠ment of dis¬≠harm¬≠o¬≠ny arri¬≠ves in the work as Hepp¬≠ner crea¬≠tes uncer¬≠tain envi¬≠ron¬≠ments that ques¬≠ti¬≠on our own as we try to decode her clues and signifiers.

Tom Cole, press release


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