Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Wedge Gallery, Lichfield - Final Solution by Katrina Vivian

The Wedge Gallery is located on the Lichfield Campus of South Staffordshire College and until October 6th will be showing a collection of work by artist Katrina Vivian in an exhibition titled Final Solution

Installation View - Final Solution at The Wedge Gallery

I was lucky enough to work alongside The Wedge's Andy Nash to co-curate the exhibition, which includes several pieces of Katrina's work in various media united by a common theme - the atrocities committed under the Nazi regime during the Second World War. Each individual work is powerful in itself, but bringing them together into this single space serves to reinforce the horror and envelope the audience in the solemnity of issues the work presents.

Katrina's piece My Struggle builds in its impact as you turn the pages of the book. Taking a copy of Adolf Hitler's book of the same name, Katrina printed over the pages with numbers representing the millions of his victims. As the book progresses, the typing changes from a random figure overlaying a single word to a dense, tangled mass of numbers. The original text is rendered unreadable - the voice of the author shouted down by those he sought to eradicate.
My Struggle - Katrina Vivian
My Struggle is mounted on a lectern looking out over the rest of the gallery space, surveying the congregation formed from objects on illuminated plinths - Katrina's Appelplatz piece.
Appelplatz (detail - installation view) - Katrina Vivian
I have long been interested in the way that people become associated with objects and the way that belongings become stand-ins for people in their absence. Appelplatz plays on this idea by using anonymous objects to evoke emotions related to their absent owner. A single shoe makes the viewer question what happened to its partner, and by extension, to its owner. The casts of a child's toy makes you wonder what led to its abandonment. Each plinth is edged in a colour relating to the categorisation of prisoners and an identification number, which combined with the objects create a deeper speculation regarding the absent owner.
Appelplatz (detail) - Katrina Vivian
Appelplatz (detail) - Katrina Vivian
Final Solution runs until the 5th September 2011 and is open 10am-4pm, with a 'closing night view' to be hold on Wednesday 5th September, 7pm-9pm at The Wedge Gallery, South Staffordshire College - Lichfield Campus, The Friary, Lichfield.

View more of Katrina's work at www.katrinavivian.com

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