Hall 11, Cologne - Deutz Exhibition Centre
50679 Cologne, Germany
In her recent series of works Killing Time Catherine Bertola has filmed historic photographs of English Country Houses. Having fallen into disrepair or demolished some time ago, each of these interior spaces no longer exists. In choosing to film the lost settings (a medium associated with the 'live' or a representation of the live moment) Bertola re-animates the interiors, creating a haunting image where a lost past is rendered visible in the present. Within each interior Bertola has superimposed her own image, re-occupying the historic spaces with her contemporary presence. The placement of her body swamped by the interior decor of the large rooms imbues the image with an immense sense of isolation. This isolation mirrors the presence of previous female occupants whose role within these lavish interiors echoed the decorative design of the room - a theater set for their own display - their days spent sitting, sewing, 'killing time'. With Bertola's presence the interior settings, or sets become a haunted space - part historical, part contemporary, and always on the edge of the fantastical. This sense of the fantastical is further enhanced by Bertola's choice of using postcard sized film screens whose small format recall illustrations from history and story books.
(Extract from Dream Birds by Laura Mansfield included in a new monograph published by Workplace Gallery focusing on recent works by Catherine Bertola available at Open Space and from www.workplacegallery.co.uk)
Image: Catherine Bertola Killing Time (detail), 2010
16mm film installation
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery UK
Workplace Gallery is a contemporary art gallery run by artists.
Based in Gateshead UK, Workplace Gallery represents a portfolio of emerging and established artists through the gallery programme, curatorial projects and international art fairs.