Pamela Rosenkranz

The Hue of One (Rage), 2011

Acrylic glass, acrylic paint, polyester strings, vinyl gloves

200 × 143 cm


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Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

photo credit: Florian Kleinefenn

Artwork
Description

Pamela Rosenkranz’s work raises fundamental, and potentially troubling, questions about what it means to be human in the contemporary world. Her conceptually discursive and multidisciplinary practice uses a variety of materials, the emphasis of which is on the materials’ so-called ‘naturalness’. In Rosenkranz’s view, any human product, even PET plastic, is a natural material – anything, that is, that has been created by the most evolved of all the organisms in our fragile ecosystem – humans. Here the artist plays with this notion of artificiality, referring unsentimentally to her own body as ‘material’ for artistic investigation. The underlying question is, which is more artificial now, plastic or the co-opted body?

Rosenkranz dissolves any notion of stable identity in her practice, in order to explore the notion of a ‘human-indifferent universe.’ The term comes from a body of contemporary philosophical thought that explores the objective possibilities of non-identity, that is, identity beyond human existence and consciousness. Critical of a conception of art that relies on the artist’s subjectivity as the interpretive coda for the work, Rosenkranz is interested in moving beyond such identity-centred concerns towards the ecological crisis that defines our age. In scientific terms, we are now, according to Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, in the Anthropocene age, a period in which humans are the dominant influence over the biological, geological and chemical processes on earth. We have thus reached a stage in human evolution where we can control nature, and the violence that this power has inflicted upon the Earth’s surface is impossible to reverse. Rosenkranz’s formally understated works, as embodied in The Hue of One (Rage), belies a speculative gesture – that the individualism of the one might give way to the materials of change.

About
the artist

Pamela Rosenkranz was born in Uri, Switzerland, in 1979. She graduated at the University of Zurich in 2005, and successively she earned her MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bern in 2010. In 2012, Rosenkranz completed an Independent Residency Program at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

Pamela Rosenkranz deals with complex issues related to human existence and nihilism, as well as globalisation and consumerism. She works with the deception of light and liquid to translate her conceptual ideologies, which are often presented through a range of media, including video, abstract sculptures, and installations. Rosenkranz’s artworks take aim at the empty centres of history, politics and our contemporary culture as a whole. Her aesthetic is informed by her extensive research into fields ranging from marketing and medicine to philosophy and religion. She instigates complex issues using a variety of shiny surfaces such as Perspex and latex, branded water bottles, IKEA furniture and projector screens. Moreover, her dynamic and gestural use of eloquent pigments alludes formally to Yves Klein’s seminal “Anthropometries”. The artist confronts the products she uses in her works with their material reality by collapsing the synthetic appearance of the artwork into their pure meaninglessness material form.

Rosenkranz’s use of glass, plastic water bottles and liquid reflecting surfaces, present in the works featured in Open Source: Art at the Eclipse of Capitalism, stems from her interest in physicality. Indeed, she employs reflective surfaces as a way of forcing the artwork to interact with the surrounding environment, to establish itself as a physical entity. The artist’s work and research often takes a biological/medical approach. Light as a medium attracts Rosenkranz specifically in relation to the influence it has on the human body: how it dictates sleeping rhythms and influences the organism, for instance. She started engaging with water as a reflection on anorexics’ attitude towards it . Studies note that the fluid is perceived as pure, ‘immaterial’, detoxifying even, while actually every plastic bottle harbours colonies of hormones and bacteria, alongside the minerals.

Rosenkranz provides an unmediated access to the real by presenting isolated objects side-by-side the scientific conditions of their existence. These themes are explored in works such as 'Pure Reflections (Revolutionary Études)' featured in Open Source. The notion of meaninglessness in Rosenkranz’s work is explored further in the book 'Pamela Rosenkranz: No Core', written by Katya Garcia-Anton.


Pamela Rosenkranz deals with complex issues related to human existence and nihilism, as well as globalisation and consumerism. She works with the deception of light and liquid to translate her conceptual ideologies, which are often presented through a range of media, including video, abstract sculptures, and installations. Rosenkranz’s artworks take aim at the empty centres of history, politics and our contemporary culture as a whole. Rosenkranz provides an unmediated access to the real by presenting isolated objects side-by-side the scientific conditions of their existence. These themes are explored in works such as ‘Pure Reflections (Revolutionary Études)‘ featured in Open Source. The notion of meaninglessness in Rosenkranz’s work is explored further in the book ‘Pamela Rosenkranz: No Core’, written by Katya Garcia-Anton.


Pamela Rosenkranz
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition