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. more about this artist in the Biennial Catalogue

Statement from the artist:
On a bluish spring day two men are dragging a large mirror along Fifth Avenue like a piece of sky. That morning a woman on the subway platform had on a tight silver polyester top that made her chest look like a metal sculpture. She wasn't very pretty. Opaque pantyhose. Nude heel. Seamless stretch. An electrified albino played the violin at the still-dark Prince Avenue station. Hat with change next to his sunshy feet and most people listening. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. Makhov again began with a vulgar simplification of Marxism. “Our only revolutionary class is the proletariat,” he declared, and from this correct premise he forthwith drew an incorrect conclusion: “The rest are of no account, they are mere hangers-on (general laughter). . . .”

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.


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The Complete History of Postcontemporary Art, 2005. Mixed media in display window, 63 x 98½ x 23 in.
(160 x 250.2 x 60 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Elizabeth Dee, New York