Caspar Stracke: Soothing and Moving

curated by: Mia Milgrom, Natálie Kubíková

Garage Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by artist-in-residence Caspar Stracke (Berlin/Mexico City) who is transforming a prominent architectural feature of the gallery into an arena of battling virtual memories. In his works, Stracke is interested in architecture, urbanism and media archeology. He has exhibited internationally, including MoMa Cineprobe, Yerba Buena SF, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, ICC Tokyo and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He was the co-director of video_dumbo in NYC and was a professor at the Finish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.

Found objects from the space and its vicinity become search prompts for a corresponding suite of virtual memory objects that attempt to turn the gallery inside out, the terminal point of a collection that spirals outward into the world. Stracke set out to scan particular things that set forth such memory triggers. Particular objects found inside and outside the gallery relate to recreation, locomotion and labor. Used furniture, tools, cars and fragments of entire house facades are placed on a slowly rotating virtual platform, where they are joined by a collection of associated objects in a perpetual call and response.

Soothing and Moving is an examination of associative memory, which becomes a neural collagist perpetually creating networks and interrelations. Memory as a construction site reveals the inevitable compulsion to create and recognize patterns from which discourse and reality are formed.

The site-specific installation is accompanied by Stracke’s earlier works, that all embrace ideas of associative image juxtapositions with binary logics. The video work Grüße aus Kramersdorf (Greetings from Kramersdorf, 2021) traces the impact of former German colonial architecture in present-day Namibia. It is an inquiry into what role these edifices play in society by looking at turn-of-the-century German “Biedermeier” architecture in the Namibian cities of !Nami≠nüs: (Lüderitz) and Swakopmund. The title names a neighborhood in Swakopmund where this building style is prominent. Architectural features make these houses indistinguishable from those built in Germany during the same time period, whereas the post-colonial African context makes them unwanted memorials.

Manufacturing Dogma (2022) is a floor installation featuring a glass-shattered video display which assembles moving images out of thousands of associated image fragments, each displayed as an individual glass shard. The work investigates the strategic visual language of far-right influencers as well as conspiracy theories used in certain social media channels. Sur les Situationnistes, une comité Invisible (2016) is a text piece in which a famous Situationist slogan is overwritten, letter-by-letter with another anti-authoritarian slogan originating from a more recent activist movement, epitomizing a historical clash of leftist ideologies.