In summer 2013, Outset supported Judith Hopf’s first solo show in a UK public gallery at Studio Voltaire. The artist presented a new film commission together with a series of sculptural works, made specifically for the exhibition.
Hopf’s work focuses on how our social environments shape us, influence us, and by extension thereby exclude us from ourselves. Hopf uses a wide variety of techniques such as sculpture, installation, film and performance, often engaging subjects and materials that can be found in the immediate environment.
In her recent installations for dOCUMENTA 13 a series of masks was formed from computer packaging and drinking glasses balanced to create a precarious bamboo forest. Such an approach can be thought of in connection to Bricolage, revealing a socio-political order latent in ready-to-hand materials.
For her presentation at Studio Voltaire, Hopf created a new film work drawing upon references to silent cinema and feminist film material from the suffragette era. An environment was built in the gallery to house the film accompanied with a series of sculptural works taking the form of a ‘flock’ of concrete sheep.
Following on from her commission for Frieze Film Some Ends of Things (2011) depicting an egg-person wandering around the hallways of a modernist building, Hopf’s new work also takes the architecture of a modernist home as its context. In this new work Hopf recreates a narrative from the suffragette film Le Bateau de Léontine (1911) in which a girl is shown in the rebellious act of flooding her family home, sailing a toy boat in the floodwater apparently oblivious to the resulting chaos around her. The pleasure taken in this rebellious action reinstates the power of the individual to open a gap in social hierarchy. In Hopf’s work contrasting elements of a pristine modernist architecture and the free-flowing, anarchic force of water merge in the space of the film. Staging her work in a domestic environment Hopf powerfully conveys how emancipatory possibilities of desire and action may be pent up, waiting to brim over in the most everyday scenarios.
Hopf (German, 1969) is based in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples (2013), Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen (2013), Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2012) and Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2012). Hopf participated in last year’s Documenta (13), Kassel and is represented by Kaufmann Repetto, Milan.