Bad Oldesloe, Germany, 1948; lives in Berlin
carts, mannequins, mirrors, fabrics, glass, tape and other materials
Strassenfest [Street Party, 2009] is a large three-dimensional collage made of objects found and reworked by the artist. However, its interest does not stem from its being a ready-made that is, a found object displaced into the context of art but rather from the meaning that arises from the particular combination of elements. The mixtures and approximations of elements create a dialogue among textures, colors and materials, but also among sources and references that surround us in the contemporary landscape: fashion, urban subcultures, militarism and tourism. In their encounter with the architecture of the exhibition space, the elements that make up the work are orchestrated in such a way as to create a scene that recalls a street party, in which the viewer is placed as a participant and voyeur, in a sort of tableau. Besides the eight sculptures sitting on the floor, a group of framed mirrors attached to the wall capture the spectators image. According to Genzken, it is always a shock to see oneself. The visitors who see themselves in the mirrors should also see their unpleasant sides. This combination between the familiar and the strange can be considered one of the constants in Genzkens work by way of a re-examination of minimalism, classical modernism, and an authoritarian notion of taste, which makes her one of the freest and most experimental ar tists of her generation.