Isa Genzken


For more than 30 years, the German artist Isa Genzken (born 1948) has been amassing a body of work in sculpture, installation, photography, collage and film. As one of Germany’s brightest stars in the art world, she was well suited to represent her country at the Venice Biennale in 2007, an occasion which this volume commemorates. The title of this book and of her installation at the German pavilion plays with the word’s associations as a global and globally contested resource, through a series of sculptural installations invoking in particular America’s dependence on oil. This heavy book colourfully documents this major body of new works from Venice in all their glory, through vast, glossy installation shots and abundant sculptural details.

Published by DuMont Buchverlag

Edited by Juliane Joan Rebentisch. Text by Vanessa J. Müller, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Liam Gillick.

“Anyone who has followed Isa Genzken’s work over the last 15 years has faced a series of provocations. Provocation in this case flows in more than one direction. We are clearly faced with a form of art production over and above any other cultural commentary—a resolute art production. Yet through this very focus we are also forced away from art to reconsider our relationship with the way power structures evade “true” form in the world—the way insidious power structures leave misleading actual conglomerations of meaning. On top of this, when we skirmish with a work by Isa Genzken, we must think about all the other art being produced in the world. We must consider this while keeping in mind all her prodding and distracting of the complex layering within the contemporary cultural production. An unpeeling of visual form that takes place via an attack on the complex, contradictory melded forms, surfaces, and semiotic flows that result from Genzken’s particular ungluing and re-lamination of potentials, signifiers, materials and modes of refusal.”

– Liam Gillick, excerpted from Isa Genzken: Oil.

Isa Genzken - Oil
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