October 29, 2020 — January 4, 2021
at Moltkerei Werkstatt
Special thanks to
Julia Woll and
photos: Hans Diernberger
kindly supported by Kulturamt Koeln
The solo exhibition entäußerung from Paulina Hoffmann (b. 1994, lives and works in Düsseldorf) confronts the materiality and design of industrial as well as intermediate goods. The interplay of the material with the immaterial is inseparably linked to our present; material objects do not only convey forms and ideas, they also carry cultural significance as well as semantic and historical relevance.
Evoking the mythical contest of Zeuxis and Parrhasius, Hoffman’s curtain fragments invite us to question whether it is possible to create a deceptively real reconstruction of our world. In their contest to decide who was the greater artist, Zeuxis managed to trick birds into pecking at his depictions of grapes, but when he tried to pull back Parrhasius’s curtain, he realized that it was a painting. Analogously, Paulina Hoffmann works at the intersections of hiding and showing — concealing and revealing. Recontextualizing the materials of our industrialized world, the artist uses PVC, fabric reinforcement, and dimpled sheeting to cut a diagonal through the exhibition space, which seems to float thanks to the help of steel cables and aluminum supports. The colors and forms of these materials are all components of an artificial world completely geared towards efficiency. Their presentation gives rise to a gesture that is both aesthetic and haptic. The seductive overlay of surfaces with different structures and color coatings brings to mind associations of function versus use. Originally produced in large quantities, Hoffmann refashions them into single pieces that do not reveal their provenance.
The anonymity of these materials is characterized by an incredibly clear functionality and rationality. The installation thus points to how how social taste is determined by industrial conventions and standardization. Through this medium, the artist reveals that we are part of an industrially–manufactured world that has become so natural for us we no longer notice it. (translated by Joseph Hutchinson)