Katja Seib’s paintings disclose themselves to the viewer like windows on someone’s private life. Notions of intimacy and voyeurism come into play in works like ‘Coming and Arriving’, where the audience’s point of view is incorporated by the painting itself. The body of the beholder seems to trespass the boundary between artwork and reality, extending an arm, opening the door on a couple’s intimate moment.
Akin to a dream, the viewer has no control over their limb: against their will they can neither close, nor open the door wider. The viewer’s complicity in the voyeuristic act strikes one as disorienting and surprising. Indeed, the immediate focus of the gaze is the colourful target-like rug at the centre of the composition. Only afterwards (arguably, too late) the baboon’s aggressive stare redirects the viewer’s attention out of the room, only to realise that the arm opening the door is their own. The absurd situation the viewer is caught up in mimics the non-logic of the oneiric experience.
The artist ascribes great importance to dreams, from where she derives much inspiration for her art. The narrative potential of her works is intriguing. Seib depicts familiar environments, allowing the viewer to establish a connection with the painting. By introducing bizarre elements to the composition, however, she suggests no clear plot, thus leaving the story to unfold in the hands of the audience.