Touching the unapproachable
Judith Kuhlmann’s works arise from the necessity of infrastructure. Sober and purposeful, she creates intimate, delicate, melancholic works. Her Subjects are translated from the repertoire of the mostly invisible, the subconscious – often as a direct reaction to life, with all its existential and contradictory forms of existence.
“In my works I lay open the vulnerable.
Gently I urge myself on. Exposed surfaces.
I try to touch the unapproachable. “
The ambivalent interaction between form and content accentuates the fluctuating moment of the “on-the-threshold” movement. This continuous balancing act also affects the artist in the selection of the material. The work challenges our willingness to take risks and awakens the curiosity for the charm of the hidden. Judith Kuhlmann’s profound work does not provide any absolute answers, but rather opens the room for explosive questions through the permanent change of perspective.
The human being and the fear, 2014, paper object, 20 x 14 cm (each)
On a sheet of paper, collected book titles are interwoven into a verse. Every book title begins with the words “man” or “fear”. The verses are spatially separated from each other by the fold, so they cannot be read from a single viewing angle.
minimal-invasive, series since 2015, light box, paper 50 x 50 cm
A black, opaque sheet of paper obscures the light of the light box. The visible drawing is created by innumerable, juxtaposed image points in which the light shines through the perforated holes. Microscopic punctures displace the mass of the paper. The drawing itself becomes an object.
The attribute, video installation, digital picture frame, Passpartout, 2015
The video installation shows a woman’s unchanging portrait. The movement in the video is based solely on the changing objects in her hands. In ten pictures, different objects transform themselves. In the last act, the woman stands unadulterated, without any foreign components, and her hands embrace her curved belly. The video work was created in 2015 for the theme exhibition “To Be Young and Old” in the Walkmühle Artist’s Workshop.
What then remains of us, video installation, 2012
And I wondered while we were occupying space together, what remains of us. The breath, stretched only by a thin skin, becomes a volatile body. When two or more bodies touch each other, there is only a brief moment of the stability of each individual. The boundaries between the bodies fuse and pull together. When approaching, the distance must be overcome and abandoned, which can lead to the displacement of the boundary of the other. Every form of contact is perishable.
Whenever you sleep, video installation, beam 210 x 35 cm, 2013
How close can I approach an intimate space without destroying it? To expose a vulnerability while also protecting it. To exhibit a human being, but without using it as a material. The voyeuristic view narrowed and forced back. The video installation shows the reclining silhouette of an outstretched figure that sinks completely into the black space. Feathers fall on the figure and lie upon the naked body. These always shiver slightly together. The fall of the feathers and the trembling of the body are increased until the figure turns and turns with its back to the picture. Through the rotation of the body, the perspective changes and the supposedly female figure becomes a child. The video hides inside a floating beam. It can be bypassed, but it is only opened from one side. The opening is just so large that a person can look into it. The viewer decides how closely he approaches the work, but if he is too close and touches it, the beam begins to swing and leaves the impression of instability. The protection against the public eye, as well as the censorship, are thus shaken.
Persipellis, video installation, 2011
“With a shuddering husk, endowed, beaten, with a delicate skin that lies in wrinkles like the fragile surface of a lake, naked and exceedingly sensitive” Michel Serres.
Shamelessly beautiful, video installation 2012