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Indepth Arts News:

"Iris Klein: SHE, HER and ME"
2007-03-09 until 2007-04-28
Leica Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

The latest work of Austrian artist Iris Klein will be featured in She, Her and Me, an exhibition of the artist’s conceptual photography at Leica Gallery, opening March 9 and running through April 28, 2007. Investigating topical issues of self and identity, Klein creates narrative environments and visual dramas of gendered characters. Using herself or a featureless stand-in doppelgänger doll, which substitutes the human subject, Klein assumes different guises as she poses and acts out roles. She produces images of personae that grow out of her own cultural memories, some echoing the environment and social origins of rural Austria, others recreating aesthetic influences of Japan or nonspecific environments where the surroundings, often very minimal, function as a simple backdrop.  

Described as “ghostly, graceful, and beautiful…”(Wiener Zeitung), Klein’s work amplifies the subtle boundaries between reality and fiction, projecting feelings from an introverted perspective that visualize half-conscious anxieties and sentimental desires.

“There’s nothing uncanny or disturbing about Iris Klein’s most recent work,” states philosopher Sylvère Lotringer. “Escaping the heavy naturality attached to the doubles in our culture, she treats hers as concrete and visible partners in an invisible exchange with tutelary shadows. Klein's negative photographs, by comparison, are positively radiant, even pagan in their unrestrained animism.”  “My work is about an examination of the self as the other, as a being with an elusive or even absent center,” says Klein. “Whether animate or inaminate, my subjects create a projective surface for rendering visible half-conscious desires and emotions.”

Klein employs a wide scope of diverse technical processes, ranging from analog darkroom to computer manipulations, to vivify her body doubles. In the darkroom, Klein enlarges positive contact sheet images rather than the normal negative. The resulting fiber-based prints then undergo various diffusion techniques and selenium toning. Some of these gelatin-silver prints are then scanned to produce final Lambda prints shown in the exhibition. She, Her & Me includes works that have been created by Klein over the last years and presents recent work that has been specifically done for this, her first one-person show in New York City. Klein’s work is presented as part of Leica’s series on Austrian Photography, the fourteenth exhibition in the program.

Iris Klein was born in Austria and received a degree in Fine Arts from Hunter College, New York City in 2000. She has lived in Japan (1984-1991), Los Angeles (1991-1995), and since 1995 in New York City. She has participated in a number of group shows in the US and abroad and had a one-person exhibition in 2005 at the Bannister Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island. Klein received the 2005 Austrian State Grant for Fine Art Photography. For additional information on the artist please visit www.irisklein.net .

This exhibition has been generously supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Austrian Airlines.

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