Surface Tension:Katharina Bosse
Reinhold Misselbeck & Neil Leach
The antinomian forces of the mundane and the bizarre find a delicate balance in “Surface Tension”, photographer Katharina Bosse’s first monograph. This New York-based, German-born artist’s work is a striking meditation on public space, private speculation, identity, and desire. Her cleverly surreal work consists of individual portraits as well as images of vacant interiors. In her portraits, Bosse’s unwavering attention to her subjects’ exterior presentation renders irrelevant traditional distinctions between documentary, art, and fashion photography. Her subjects present themselves voluntarily, addressing themselves to the camera while at the same time keeping certain things concealed. With the beginning and ending points of their outward surface so exactly demarcated, a strange melancholy settles over them–they seem to be dreaming themselves into existence. A different sort of ”dream life” presents itself in Bosse’s interiors: in spaces ranging from train compartments to casinos to a dominatrix’s chambers, the artist presents public spaces as a refraction of mass desire, and evokes the secret histories and memories that become embedded in any space through which human beings pass. These remarkable compositions possess a strange seductive force, beckoning with their lavish color and detail, yet disturbing the viewer by obscuring distinctions between inside and out.