Through the media of photographs, large-format prints and silkscreens Silke Wagner, in her new works, addresses societal and socio-cultural issues in a multi-faceted way and proceeds to transmute political topics into the domain of art through distinct aesthetic form-finding.
Focusing on the formal aesthetic aspects of the chosen motifs, with the starting basis of found material, Silke Wagner addresses the gesture of societal protest. In two photo-based series she removes banners and posters – as they are used in demonstrations – from their respective political context and turns them into universal image carriers. Detached from day to day political events and tendencies, the works offer the possibility to approach the topic on a more fundamental level and to question one’s own exposure to public opinion and slogans.
Silke Wagner’s new works, particularly Out of Nowhere Now Here, 2018 widen the scope to reflect upon individual responsibility in the social fabric and to consider the question how solidarity and mutual concern can be carried out. Simultaneously the artist explores how an individual can be located in relation to a community – a solitary voice peters out in a crowd, at the same time there needs to be a large number of individuals for a message to garner attention. Barrikade Modell I/II, 2018 approaches the question of how prevalent is the need for political participation in society. On the basis of statistical data the opinion of the people on the current day importance of protest find their expression in the interplay of the colour-coordinated silkscreens.
Independent of their respective issues, protest movements are united by the perceived urge to raise the collective voice to cure a concern or injustice. Then again the will to rebel at the same time is motivated by the hope that a change of the status quo is actually possible. Based on this sentiment, Silke Wagner’s large-format mirror piece New Morning Changing Weather, 2017 expresses the optimism for a different and better tomorrow.
Silke Wagner (*1968) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. Works of the artist have been shown at several solo exhibitions, i.a. at the Kunsthalle Goeppingen, at the Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Kunstverein in Hamburg and Oldenburger Kunstverein – most recently at the show Silke Wagner. New Morning Changing Weather in Hamburg. In Frankfurt she currently presents the project Im Wind. Sechs Skulpturen für Fechenheim. Integral parts of her most important exhibition contributions and projects include i.a. Macht der Machtlosen, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Tatort Paderborn Phänomen Fußgängerzone, Paderborn, Biennale Bern, Emscherkunst, DRESSing the Message, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Playing the City, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, skulptur projekte münster 07, as well as German Open, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.