Katja Stuke’s SUPERNATURAL has been exhibited at OFFSCREEN Paris as part of the programm OFFTRACKS, a direct invitation to 3 artists to come and present their works at OFFSCREEN, in the spotlight of a renowned curator. read more »»
Katja Stuke is presented by Florian Ebner, Director of Photography at the Centre Pompidou, who has supported the artist’s work for many years.
For OFFSCREEN, Katja Stuke presents various portraits photographed between 2000 and 2020, from the Supernatural series, whose highly ambivalent title refers both to the faces photographed and to the photographs themselves. Through this series, the artist works on the tension captured by the photo, whether it’s the tension before the pistol shot in this portrait of a woman whose extremely colorful outfit fades into the background, or the tension that lies before an athlete’s jump. This tension, directly linked to an action in progress and the central object of Katja Stuke’s portraits, initiates a process that can no longer be reversed.
Faces as masks as grids – Katja Stuke’s series Supernatural
»Katja Stuke’s photographic faces of high-performance female athletes from the series Supernatural take their starting point in the early 2000s. Photographed from television screens during the competition broadcasts of the Olympic Games in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012), Rio (2016), Pyeongchang (2018), they bear the technical signature of an era before our age of super high-definition. Reframed to the vertical format and rasterized through the surface of the screen, they acquire a peculiarly hybrid status between portrait and cinematographic close-up, and in their uncanny stillness pose the question of the human remnant of the image-formed face. Immersed in total concentration, clearly aware of the decisive moment of their sportswomen’s lives, these faces unfold the peculiar aura of our medial age: they are close to us and yet so far away, they are pure medial surface, grid-pattern, and as individuals behind it as hidden as behind the mesh of the fencer’s mask. In contrast to the cinema screen, the close-up is frozen here, the expressive and emotional potential of the face set to zero, in perfect mastery they have become more like machines than human – supernatural«. Florian Ebner