The mind is natively vice


at Spazio Cut Bolzano, Italy curated by Maximilian Pellizzari & Leonardo Cuccia 

In the mind is natively vice, Sarah Kürten (b. Bergisch-Gladbach, 1983) presents a series of new works that further develop her questioning of body politics in the context of popular media; pairing collages and written text. In Rose (may the world be translated into simple stories about individuals) and Tess (All that is moonshine, and all that cannot, by conscious action do anything about it), we are confronted with the reenactment of pictures taken by women in the act of presenting pre-owned clothing on online reselling platforms. These anonymous self-portraits shot in domestic environments are disassembled and reconstructed through overlaid cut-out colored paper with a printed transparent foil on top of it, adding texture and depth to the image. Paired with and on top of the pictures, we read printed poems written by the artist herself that lend a performative space to the transformed photograph. Kürten's image materials become stills of a non-linear storytelling that unfolds by reading the poems together with the pictures. The appropriated images now look "historicized" by their material translation into collages that resemble 70's poster design and define the subject matter of the group of works. In the exhibition, Sarah Kürten recontextualizes portraits of women to address behavioural and cognitive processes of the viewers' minds, inducing us to question how these bodies are perceived in the different contexts of their mediation. By adding stream-of-consciousness insights on what revolves around the perception of the distant and suddenly very near scenes described in the poems, the artist offers the viewer an experience of her line of thoughts, suggesting the importance of a critical questioning of our gaze.The same topic was explored in previous collages and text-works created after images of Twen, a German popular magazine published between 1959 and 1971 that at the time shaped the development of young adults. The series was exhibited in her last solo-show under the illusion of structureless splendor in Düsseldorf in 2020. In addition to the works Tess and Rose, the mind is natively vice features a series of Risograph prints produced by the artist during a residency at BASIS Vinschgau Venosta in September 2022. The series I have no change (And I am not sure, indeed, whether it is true to say) is composed of six prints that each present the title out of brackets printed over an illustration of Copicat, the first commercially available tape delay unit produced in 1958, on a different colored background. While the repeated sentence means having no money to offer, it also refers to having no extra clothes to wear and to the possibility of changing our gaze without history leaking into our present perception of the body. On the occasion of the exhibition, a limited edition of 6 postcards (30+10 A.P.) is presented, where the relation between collected images of online reselling platforms and written text is further explored. For the duration of the show, a new site-specific work titled A Poem (splendid inhabitants of a splendid world, but...) will be installed on the facade of BASIS in Schlanders/Silandro, Italy. The poem thematises the intellectual autonomy of art from the economical system and aims at creating awareness on the importance of local cultural institutions that enable and support the production of culture. 

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