The Gallery Apart presents the third solo show by Astrid Nippoldt, an artist based in Berlin but cosmopolitan by vocation, as shown by the series “Oakwood” presented for the first time in Italy. If, for the previous project titled “Pattern of Paradise (Cape Coral)” the Rome exhibition represented a prelude to the following presentation in the museum spaces, now the order is reversed, Oakwood in fact has been presented for the first time at the Museum Kurhaus Kleve in Germany, also accompanied by a catalogue now available at the art gallery.
Nippoldt points her videographic lens towards China, but it is just a pretext to frame particular and transitory human behaviours from which drawing universal ideas and suggestions. As she knew about it almost by chance, thanks to a friend of the artist who was living in one of the Oakwood residencies (over 25,000 residencies worldwide offered to temporary communities of male and female corporate travelers), Nippoldt is particularly intrigued by the side effects on the existences of the expatriates’ spouses who decide to follow his or her life partner.
As she went to Beijing to live in one of the Oakwood residencies, Nippoldt delved herself into a socio-psychological research that shies away from a purely documentary presentation or reportage to instead look for metaphors and visual transformations. The results of this vision are the two videos “Oakwood Garden” and “My Day”. The first video was shot at night in order to recreate the mixture of grotesque and seduction evoked by the place, whereas the second video was shot by filming the outside from an inner perspective as a representation of the border between a cosy, luxury and safe interior and an uncertain and threatening outside.
The two videos do not aim to give two different versions of the same phenomenon. “My Day”, sober and laconic, and “Oakwood Garden”, highly imaginative and colourful, even in the darkness, give rise to a visual ambivalence where melancholy and beauty are mixed into a disturbing synthesis that lets the viewer falling prey to an indeterminate feeling. If, on the one hand, “My Day” produces a tragicomic short circuit, also by virtue of the male gender of the protagonist that makes him even lonelier in the splendid isolation of the residence; on the other hand, “Oakwood Garden” feeds on contrasts, between beauty and evanescence, attempts and failures, traps and illusions.
Like all the works of art by Nippoldt, the video series is accompanied by a collection of photographs inspired by the same concepts, thoughts and objectives, also enriched with images that, still inspired by real situations, are made unique by the artist’s filter. Likewise, also the videos’ soundtrack sinks its roots in reality, as it consists of original sounds and noises recorded and catalogued by the artist in her own sound –archive.
Astrid Nippoldt moreover has started a blog that will accompany the forthcoming exhibition to document its progress, it is a sort of diary that affords insights into the artist’s imaginary and her artmaking and investigation practices. You can access the blog from the Cura Magazine website (www.curamagazine.com) or visit the blog at the following link dailymorror.wordpress.com.
Astrid Nippoldt was born in 1973 in Gießen, Germany. She lives and works in Berlin.