Michaela Richter
Mess with Your Values, hrsg. von Marius Babias und Michaela Richter, Berlin: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Köln: Buchhandlung Walther König (n.b.k. Berlin, Bd. 10)


Katrin Glanz’s work revolves around the human being as a social creature and the spaces in which his or her life is set. In films, installations, and interactive performances, the artist investigates the ways in which personal circumstances, habits, and desires shape an individual’s everyday life in the private as well as public spheres. Not restricting herself to the observer’s role, Glanz also deliberately intervenes to initiate situations that throw structural prerequisites of human action into sharp relief and establish specific conditions for social interaction. Early in her career, Glanz created a growing body of works that document site- and status-specific patterns of movement and behavior. For zum A (to the A, 1997), a piece based on Super 8 footage, the artist installed her camera at a fixed vantage point and filmed passersby on their way to an Amt or administrative office over the course of a full year. In the resulting projection, we never see their destination; the focus is solely on the hurried figures whose paths cross within the frame. Zimmer (1996) is a walk-in installation taking up roughly 13 square meters, the size of a typical living room in a prefabricated housing block. Its interior is an empty white cube, with the outlines of furniture with which a resident might fill it marked in pencil on the walls and floor. As the work was on view, the visitors’ feet left more and more scuff marks on the floor that revealed their constrained trajectories: they respected the limits on their movements in the small room imposed by the invisible objects. Many other installations by Glanz likewise consist of cutout-like silhouettes of things or
persons that draw our attention to aspects of presence and absence and the associated influencing variables in certain social contexts. Wall pieces such as behind (2001), for which the artist visualized the contours of a hidden room behind the gallery that served as a storage space, office, and to house visiting artists, raise questions of coexistence and how it is perceived, and hence of which persons and processes attain visibility in a society and which do not. In recent projects, Glanz has turned her attention to a more process-based approach. She continues to prod us to reflect on shared social and urban spaces, as in the discussion event Märker philosophieren. Wie (zusammen) leben? (2015). By inviting the public to such participatory actions— others have included the project Hellersdorfer Tanzplatz (2017), where a dancer and live musicians encouraged local residents to dance in a square; Tauschbörse (2014–2015, with Sladjan Nedeljkovic), a swap meet where items their owners no longer needed were displayed with their histories and then traded; and VIERTEL TORTE (2014), an open call to bake the finest pie representing the neighborhood—the artist brings about unwonted encounters and creates new opportunities for social engagement. Insistently interrogating the relation between art and everyday life, Katrin Glanz makes works that provide an open framework in which the public can become actively involved in an exploration of both worlds and the reflective and transformative potential of creative action.