For the last two decades, Josephine Meckseper has created large-scale installations, sculptures, paintings, and films that simultaneously expose and encase signifiers such as advertisements, political imagery, and everyday objects to form an exploration into the collective unconscious of our time. The artist's exhibition at the Frac des Pays de la Loire is her first major institutional survey show in France. Taking place at the Frac, Carquefou, and the associated HAB Galerie in Nantes, the twofold exhibition brings together a selection of significant works by the artist from the last fifteen years and an artist-curated selection of works from the Frac's collection. Meckseper creates a dialogue around gender and scale by including artworks by Becky Beasley, Karla Black, Kate Blacker, Katinka Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Claire Fontaine, Melanie Counsell, Jason Dodge, Lili Dujourie, Michel Gerson, Johannes Kahrs, Sister Corita Kent, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Jack Pierson, Martha Rosler, Rosemarie Trockel, and Valie Export. Partly informed by the abandoned industrial landscape and the old shipping cranes surrounding the gallery in Nantes, as well as by the escalating "yellow vest" protests across France, Meckseper's own monumental sculptures and politically charged works intersect with the artworks from the collection, which are exhibited in part on wood and mirror shelves designed by Meckseper, providing an additional conceptual mode of display and narrative. An in-depth essay on the exhibition by writer and critic Joshua Decter accompanies the exhibition views and index of works in the catalogue.
Published following Josephine Meckseper's exhibition at Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, and HAB Galerie, Nantes, in 2019.
In her photography, videos, and installations Josephine Meckseper
(born Lilienthal, 1964, lives and works in New York) engages with the
interaction between politics and glamour. Thus, in her works, images of
political activism—whether photographs of demonstrations or
newspaper cuttings—are set against sparkling consumer goods and
advertising motifs, evoking a paradoxical effect. On the one hand, the
pop-political vocabulary of forms appears absurd in its opposing
ideological effect; on the other, the artist discloses references by
interpolating them seamlessly in a decorative and apparently elegant
display. Meckseper has pursued the capitalist-critique approach of
recent years, with subject areas agitating around the war in Iraq and the
oil industry, with all their inherent economic and socio-political
implications, in particular those concerning the automobile industry.