INFO

Silke Wagner (*1968, lives in Frankfurt) focuses her conceptual work on sociopolitical content, which she converts into an artistically aesthetic context, using a variety of means. Each artistic form of expression is chosen based on theme and, particularly, location, and can be anything from an urban sculpture, website or item of clothing to a wall newspaper or neon installation. Many of her works feature graphic elements or quote our surrounding consumer world in form and structure. She is not confined to one specific genre, but rather makes this precise openness in artistic media her characteristic style, avoiding traditional categorisations of art and challenging established classifications. Through different processes of de-contextualisation and re-contextualisation, she attempts to incorporate reality into art, while simultaneously using the protected sphere of art freedom to attract attention to specific topics, as well as to various social groups with whom she frequently collaborates. Some of these have included the “kein mensch ist illegal” network in Hanau, the “Fluchtwagen” campaign, the Dona Carmen association for prostitutes’ social and political rights in Frankfurt, and the Umweltzentrum Archiv Verein in M├╝nster. She seeks to initiate public communication processes, and create opportunities for interaction – both through concrete political content and through the artwork in itself. In doing so, she facilitates the formation of public opinion, which replaces the (superseded) notion of architecturally converted public places being sites of communicative exchange. At the same time, she uses specific public art projects to constantly question the challenges and opportunities to which these artworks are exposed amidst city marketing and inner-city decoration. Her latest pieces in particular display this (self-) reflective element. When dealing with art-history references, Wagner applies strategies of appropriation and change, and not only questions the importance of the original, but also subjects her own “creative” work as an artist to criticism.