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Group show: Tina Hage & Annie Hémond Hotte - Two Positions (over)

20 November 2009 until 9 January 2010
  Tina Hage & Annie Hémond Hotte - Two Positions
Tina Hage, Dream Start, 2008 Digital print, Triptych, each 60 x 42 cm. Ed. 1/3
  Thomas Rehbein Galerie

Thomas Rehbein Galerie
Aachener Strasse 5
50674 Cologne
Germany (city map)

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Curated by Gerard Hemsworth

Tina Hage and Annie Hémond Hotte are two young artists currently working in London, who graduated from Goldsmith College in 2009. Both are present in their work, but their positions are totally independent of each other.

It is this difference of position and the different languages they employ that makes the bringing together of these two artists in a single exhibition intriguing. The quality of their independent practices asserts two entirely different critical debates within contemporary art practice, each insistent and each convincing, both readdressing and contributing values within contemporary culture.

Tina Hage

In Tina Hage's digital photography based practice, she is most interested in the relationship between the crowd and the individual and how they are represented in the mass media. She deploys contemporary photojournalistic and topical imagery from newspapers and the internet, which Tina reflects upon by using herself repetitively to re-enact the found scenes. Once re-made, these images sometimes feel more ambiguous than the initial context of the image as although they still refer to the source, questions are raised about the real and the new context in which the piece now exists.

In the work of Tina Hage, we are undeniably presented with a fiction, a fake. (…)
In each photograph of Dream Start (2008) we see the repeated figure of the artist in various poses and facial expressions formulate a group that on first encounter refuses any sense of difference. The mass of the red, green and brown crowds overturn the opportunity for the individual to be prominent. Each figure is irrelevant and only maintains a position through a relationship with its others and how they physically interact in the given space; the crowd becomes a whole unit. That this might be a work of self-portraiture is inconsequential; that the artist painstakingly re-presents herself in various roles is not a question of identity, but non-identity. (Rahil Haque)

Annie Hémond Hotte

Through her paintings, Annie casts a world made of cartoon characters, which have a very particular quality that doesn't allow us to define if they are humans, animals, vegetables or objects. There is something about her characters that makes them look always anxious and busy. The scenes she paints are ambiguous most of the time, and always leave us perplexed about the cause of the situation or what is really happening. It is as if her paintings are telling us a joke, but there is a part missing to the puzzle.

Her paintings have certain immediacy and an expressive quality that could remind some of the American Abstract Expressionists, but the expressive brush marks are used as a part of the joke. Expressionism becomes something specific in the imagery; the expressionist becomes a tool to illustrate the joke.
The image is not only a pretext to make an Expressionist painting, but the expressivity becomes the image. Annie's paintings walk the line between traditional, romantic paintings, and a parody of painting itself…

NEXT: Leif Trenkler 15.01. - 27.02.2010

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