Silvia Kolbowski, inadequate…Like…Power…, Exhibition view, Secession 2004, Photo: Hannes Böck

Silvia Kolbowski

inadequate...Like...Power

September 17 – November 11, 2004

Where and how can we position critical artistic practice today? What possibilities do conceptual strategies and methods offer in reestablishing a capacity for critique? Silvia Kolbowski is a key representative of those contemporary artists who take their cue from the conceptual methods of the 1960s and ’70s, radically questioning claims to objectivity in projects—including pictures, sounds, or gestures—that recognize the political nature of art. Her artistic practice began with an engagement with feminism, feminist film theory, avant-garde film, and psychoanalysis, and subsequently Conceptual Art. In her installations, she focuses on paradigmatic phenomena of a current zeitgeist: the fascination with shopping, the historicization of Conceptual Art, and the symbolic force of power all represent realms of experience underexamined by mass culture. Silvia Kolbowski counters dominant, monological voices with altered interview situations that showcase both a multiplicity of voices and an “ethic of failure” (Jacqueline Rose), but without individualizing through personalization or first-person narrative.

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Silvia Kolbowski, born in Buenos Aires in 1953, lives and works in New York City.