Born 1964, Lilienthal, Germany; lives in New York, New York
Josephine Meckseper's installations, photographs, and films explore, as Nicolas Garait has described, "the questionable links the media establishes between images of political news, the fashion industry, and advertising." In The Complete History of Postcontemporary Art (2005), she assembles everyday objects (a stuffed rabbit, stockings, a toilet plunger) and imagery related to protest culture. Deconstructing the media's strategy of mixing advertising and editorial content, she exposes how we have become consumers not only of products but also of news and politics. In displays that recall ethnographic museums, her work sets up absurdist juxtapositions that reflect and absorb the interrupted desires created by the ideally lit shop window at midnight, where consumption is temporarily deferred and the projection of ownership meets the transgressive impulse toward looting.
Statement from the artist:
A perfect day to be uptown. Everything is high, the buildings, the sky, the people. The glass, the metal, the bright light. Buses rushing by and the cars. Even the handicapped tourists look good now that the dust has settled. Mannequins in shop windows are still wearing bathrobes. Belts made from lost ties of careless businessmen. Thousand points of light, bail bonds, soft money. Low prices every day. The London crowd in Engels and The man of the crowd in Poe. Coffee grounds in white snow on the sidewalk and water dripping from the Empire’s windows on the world. Consequently, resistances to command continually emerge within Empire.
I am late, jumping into a taxi heading south on Fifth. Towards the sun, the Bank of America. Left lane must turn left. The avenues aren’t much better. Eventually they all end in the water. The numbers on the note turned out to be a hotel address. And a room number. And a time. Wooden furniture, beige wallpaper. Television from 1987 and a small terrace. Ornament as crime. Once out on the terrace, two girls with long legs and blond hair so light that yellow seems white and white seems yellow. The same faces and laughter, from dusk to dawn. And further west a condemned building, and then the unused elevated train with grass growing on its tracks, people living in damp boxes under it.