Käthe Hager von Strobele
The photography and installation work of Käthe Hager von Strobele examines contemporary surfaces and spaces through the lens of photography’s two earliest usages: first, as a successor to painting’s attempt at locating subjectivity (portrait, still-life), and, second, as a scientific-technical tool (microscopy, time-lapse, slow-motion, MRT).
In both, photography is essentially a form of reality testing. Because the human eye is narrow in its frequency, for instance, it is limited in time and restricted in its perception of movement; the camera eye knows no such limitation.
Here reality testing takes the form of both the subject (body image) and the object (molecular processes, imaging procedures).
In Hager von Strobele’s work, reality testing no longer discovers objects conforming to prior representations, but recovers instead the very object that constitutes this reality in the first place (anomaly, anamorphosis). For it is the nature of the object to have been lost and gone missing, in obedience to a drive within the subject to orientate itself towards the object – as if one were obliged to let go of it by following its every move.
The artworks at issue investigate this obligation, positing encountered spaces and enacting absence, in order to question presence’s conditions of possibility.