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Yours, KOW

Kleine Beestjes (at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, brussels)

, Sophie Gogl

Opening  ›  Jul 5, 5:00 PM

Jul 6 – Aug 31, 2022

KOW is happy to announce the solo show „Kleine beestjes“ of Sophie Gogl at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS in Brussels who kindly invited KOW to present a show at their space. LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS is jointly run by LambdaLambdaLambda, MISAKO & ROSEN and Park View / Paul Soto.

Sometimes I fantasize that the exterminator comes to my apartment in full exterminator gear, with protective suit, mask and a parasite cannon with a 25-horsepower engine that could rid an entire warehouse of vermin. I show him my bedbugs, he kills them and we make love in my perfectly eradicated bed afterwards. And sometimes, when I feel like it, I imagine it the other way around, first the fucking and then the killing, the little death followed by the great extermination. Unfortunately, the exterminator doesn’t actually make house visits, he just works in the call center of an exterminator company and sells overpriced products and services over the phone to poor elderly women, some of whom have vermin, others dementia, and still others who need someone to talk to. In Middle High German, “Ungeziefer“ literally means “unclean animal not suitable for sacrifice”. Sometimes I imagine myself being transformed into such a dirty, nasty bug waiting for the exterminator to make me go away. I lie on my hard, armour-like back, and if I lift my head a little I can see my curved abdomen, divided by arch-shaped ridges, and domed so high that the bedspread, on the brink of slipping off, could hardly stay put. My many legs, pathetically thin in comparison with my size otherwise, flicker helplessly before my eyes.

“What has happened to me?” Sophie Gogl thinks as she lies next to her bicycle on the main street of Kufstein in Tyrol. She is lying on her back, and when she lifts her head a little, she sees the mayor of Kufstein, who reaches out to her and asks if everything is alright, and that she should ride more carefully in the future, and also, why isn’t she wearing a helmet? Slowly the memory returns and Sophie Gogl begins to understand that he hit her with the car and is now bluffing his way out of trouble (there are elections coming up). But there is no evidence, just a bruised arm. It is not a dream. “What has happened to me?” is, of course, the big Kafkaesque question posed by the traveling salesman Gregor Samsa who, after waking one morning from uneasy dreams, finds himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. Sophie Gogl’s work is Kafkaesqe in many ways. Not only are many of her paintings inhabited by anthropomorphised animals that often have something existential or nonsensical to say – like the “Lobster” (2020) who complains that “No one cares what my definition of ‘is’ is” –, she also plays on the burden of bureaucracy and modern family life, and, similar to Kafka, refuses to overwork the metaphorical significance of symbols, focusing instead on their aesthetic meaning.

If one would follow a metaphorical reading of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, things would be rather obvious: the bug is anxiety, castration, the animal expression of Kafka’s father complex. And of course, there’s also a resemblance between bugs and kids, these little nuisances, both dirty and hard to get rid off, multiplying more often than desired. In “The Frozen Sea,” Kafka’s Freudian biographer Charles Neider stresses Kafka’s complex relationship with his father for the meaning of “The Metamorphosis” and, following the depiction of children as vermin in mythic symbolism, asserts that the beetle aptly characterizes Kafka’s sense of worthlessness before his father. But can a small bug, even if it’s a monstrous cockroach, a large verminous insect or a gargantuan pest, take on this enormous role? “I am interested here in bugs, not in humbugs, and I reject this nonsense,” Vladimir Nabokov, who was not only a writer and literary critic but also a lepidopterist, wrote in response to such Oedipal interpretations and instead saw in Gregor Samsa’s bug-being an embodiment of the artist’s struggle for existence in a society seeking to destroy him step by step. ”Metaphors are one of the things that makes me despair of literature,” Kafka said, and deliberately killed, as Deleuze and Guattari write “all metaphor, all symbolism, all signification, no less than all designation.” According to D&G, there is nothing metaphoric about Gregor Samsa’s becoming-animal. Kafka as the literary exterminator of dirty symbolic meaning and nasty metaphorical vermin.

Although in pop cultural representations and poor translations Gregor Samsa is depicted as beetle, June bug, or cockroach, Kafka did not have any specific bug in mind. In a letter to his publisher voicing his concern about the cover illustration of the first edition of “The Metamorphosis”, Kafka writes: “The insect itself is not to be drawn. It is not even to be seen from a distance.” Even though Sophie Gogl paints figuratively, and often portraits, there is a similar rejection of unambiguous representation in her work. In painting photographs of her supposedly private life, in figurating the personal, the things and people depicted undergo a process of abstraction, not to stand as metaphors for something else, but to doubt their own singularity. When Sophie Gogl’s grandmother asks her if she has finished painting “the old woman,” she seems to understand that the painting is a portrait of her as much as it is a portrait of anyone’s grandmother, an archetypal figure of aging life and passing time. The intimate and the arbitrary, the concrete family and the abstract family function often merge in Sophie Gogl’s work, directing the autobiographical gaze toward the social. Her own house and family are figured as expressions of the alienation inherent in the “we” in “we are family” – a social construct that is at once utterly meaningless and painfully real, just as the intimate interiority of Sophie Gogl’s Tyrolean wooden home is as personal as it is deeply generic. If “The Metamorphosis” is about Kafka’s relationship with his father, it is perhaps only insofar as the daddy issue is a social issue rather than a personal trauma. Home decorations and children’s toys generate meaning only by being owned and shared by many. A bedbug rarely comes alone, and lice are a social event.

Sophie Gogl, Kleine Beestjes, 2022, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Kleine Beestjes, 2022, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Kleine Beestjes, 2022, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Kleine Beestjes, 2022, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Kleine Beestjes, 2022, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Kleine Beestjes, 2022, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Maria, 2022, acrylics on wood, 200 x 140 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Summer 2007 (Not a wallflower), 2020, acrylics on wood, 40 x 30 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, FUNdament, 2022, stretcher bar printed, fabric, 220 x 180 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Lice Shampoo, 2022, acrylics on wood, 200 x 80 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Dilemma, 2022, pencil on plaster, watch, 31 x 9 x 12 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Self-Expression-Loophole, 2022, plaster, watch, fabric, 28.5 x 7 x 7 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC
Sophie Gogl, Wall flower (meet to “Wall” Painting), 2022, pencil on plaster, watch, 39 x 6 x 9 cm, exhibition view at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, Brussels, photo by: GRAYSC

Text by: Sophia Roxane Rohwetter
Photos by: GRAYSC

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Current

Upcoming

2022

Latest News

Istvan Kantor
Jul 15 – Aug 20, 2022

Canary Archive

, Chto Delat
Jul 15 – Aug 20, 2022

Kleine Beestjes (at LA MAISON DE RENDEZ–VOUS, brussels)

, Sophie Gogl
Jul 6 – Aug 31, 2022

Anna Boghiguian

, Anna Boghiguian
Apr 29 – Jun 25, 2022

Anna Boghiguian / Alice Creischer

, Anna Boghiguian, Alice Creischer
Apr 29 – Jun 25, 2022

BALOT

, CATPC, Renzo Martens
Feb 11 – Apr 8, 2022

The Albanian Conference: Home Is Where The Hatred Is

, Anna Ehrenstein, feat. DNA, Fadescha, Rebecca-Pokua Korang
Nov 12, 2021 – Jan 29, 2022

Idea / Ideal

, Marco A. Castillo
Nov 12, 2021 – Jan 29, 2022

2021

Michael E. Smith

, Michael E. Smith
Sep 10 – Oct 31, 2021

The Bell Project

, Hiwa K
Jun 18 – Jul 24, 2021

Joint Ventures: Felix Gaudlitz, Vienna

Milena Büsch, Simon Lässig, Vera Lutz
Jun 18 – Jul 24, 2021

Jars

, Sophie Gogl
May 1 – Jul 24, 2021

What must not be, cannot be

, Mario Pfeifer
May 1 – Jun 12, 2021

Joint Ventures: Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Wien

Sonia Leimer – Junks of Joy
May 1 – Jun 12, 2021

Downstairs: Forced Love

, CATPC
Mar 26 – Apr 18, 2021

Permanente Veränderung

, Oswald Oberhuber
Mar 8 – Apr 18, 2021

JOINT ventures: Modern Art, London

Collier Schorr - Day for Night (1992/2021)
Mar 8 – Apr 18, 2021

Online exhibition: works on paper

, Oswald Oberhuber
Feb 1 – Mar 26, 2021

KOLONNEN - hohenzollern ist jetzt ein Verb

, Dierk Schmidt
Nov 20, 2020 – Jan 30, 2021

Downstairs: Airmail Paintings 186 and 192

, Eugenio Dittborn
Nov 20, 2020 – Jan 30, 2021

Online exhibition: The films

, Eugenio Dittborn
Dec 4, 2020 – Jan 31, 2021

2020

Online exhibition: One night in a social network

, Chto Delat
Oct 4 – Dec 4, 2020

Would You Like to Meet Your Neighbor?

, Estate of Barbara Hammer
Sep 11 – Nov 7, 2020

Downstairs: Two recent films

, Tobias Zielony
Sep 11 – Nov 7, 2020

OUT OF THE DARK II

, Candice Breitz, Chto Delat, Clegg & Guttmann, Alice Creischer, Heinrich Dunst, Estate of Barbara Hammer, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze, Hiwa K, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Oswald Oberhuber, Mario Pfeifer, Dierk Schmidt, Santiago Sierra, Michael E. Smith, Franz Erhard Walther, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, CATPC, Anna Ehrenstein, Christoph Schäfer
May 23 – Aug 15, 2020

Online exhibition: The Illusion of a Crowd

, Clemens von Wedemeyer
Apr 7 – May 31, 2020

Labour

, Candice Breitz
Feb 29 – Apr 30, 2020

Machines to change the world

Elena Asins
Feb 15 – Mar 14, 2020

Downstairs: Maschinen zur Veränderung der Welt

, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze
Feb 15 – Mar 14, 2020

TOASTED ANGELS, SOUNDS OF STEEL

, Estate of León Ferrari
Nov 23, 2019 – Feb 1, 2020

Michael E. Smith

, Michael E. Smith
Sep 13, 2019 – Jan 25, 2020

2019

Stadtschlawinereien

, Alice Creischer, Dierk Schmidt, Michael E. Smith, Brandlhuber+, Larissa Fassler, Adelita Husni-Bey, Peng!, Andrea Pichl, Andreas Siekmann, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Weekend & Plaste, et al.
Sep 7 – Nov 9, 2019

Oberhuber. Un futuro.

, Oswald Oberhuber
May 31 – Jul 27, 2019

Clegg & Guttmann and Franz Erhard Walther

, Clegg & Guttmann, Franz Erhard Walther
Apr 26 – Jul 27, 2019

Make up

, Tobias Zielony
Mar 2 – May 18, 2019

Ostalgie

, Henrike Naumann
Feb 2 – Apr 28, 2019

His Master's Voice

, Alice Creischer
Nov 24, 2018 – Jan 19, 2019

Crusoe

, Eugenio Dittborn
Nov 24, 2018 – Jan 19, 2019

Contribution to Light. The Early Works of Barbara Hammer

, Estate of Barbara Hammer
Sep 13, 2018 – Jan 31, 2019

2018

Was euch am Leben hält, ist, was bei uns zu Asche zerfällt *

, Alice Creischer, Henrike Naumann, Mario Pfeifer, Michael E. Smith, Tobias Zielony
Sep 8 – Nov 10, 2018

EL OTRO, EL MISMO / THE OTHER, THE SAME

Los Carpinteros
Apr 28 – Jul 21, 2018

Maskirovka

, Tobias Zielony
Mar 24 – Apr 15, 2018

Double Bodies

, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger
Feb 10 – Mar 17, 2018

Hotel Résistance

Ahmet Öğüt
Nov 25, 2017 – Jan 28, 2018

2017

Michael E. Smith

, Michael E. Smith
Sep 16 – Nov 5, 2017

Love Story

, Candice Breitz
Apr 29 – Jul 30, 2017

On the Possibility of Light

, Chto Delat
Feb 18 – Apr 9, 2017

On Fear and Education, Disenchantment and Justice, Protest and Disunion in Saxony / Germany

, Mario Pfeifer
Dec 1, 2016 – Apr 15, 2017

The Cabinet of Ramon Haze

, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze
Nov 19, 2016 – Jan 29, 2017

Things, Not Words

, Heinrich Dunst
Nov 19, 2016 – Jan 29, 2017

2016

Barbara Hammer & Oswald Oberhuber

, Estate of Barbara Hammer, Oswald Oberhuber
Sep 17 – Nov 6, 2016

Out Of The Dark

, Chto Delat, Alice Creischer, Eugenio Dittborn, Heinrich Dunst, Estate of Barbara Hammer, Hiwa K, Renzo Martens, Chris Martin, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Mario Pfeifer, Dierk Schmidt, Tina Schulz, Michael E. Smith, Franz Erhard Walther, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze
Jun 26 – Jul 31, 2016

The Citizen

, Tobias Zielony
Apr 30 – Jun 12, 2016

This Lemon Tastes of Apple

, Hiwa K
Apr 30 – Jun 12, 2016

Broken Windows 6.3

, Dierk Schmidt
Mar 12 – Apr 16, 2016

Cast Behind You The Bones Of Your Mother

, Clemens von Wedemeyer
Dec 19, 2015 – Feb 27, 2016

2015

Left To Our Own Devices

Hito Steyerl
Sep 17 – Dec 5, 2015

A Summer Of Films

, Chto Delat, Alice Creischer, Eugenio Dittborn, Heinrich Dunst, Estate of Barbara Hammer, Renzo Martens, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Mario Pfeifer, Tina Schulz, Michael E. Smith, Franz Erhard Walther, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, Screening program
Jun 28 – Jul 26, 2015

Approximation In The Digital Age To A Humanity Condemned To Disappear

, Mario Pfeifer
May 2 – Jun 25, 2015

A Lucky Day

, Renzo Martens, CATPC
May 2 – Jul 26, 2015

Time Capsule. Artistic Report on Catastrophes and Utopia

, Chto Delat
Feb 28 – Apr 18, 2015

Have A Crush

, Estate of Barbara Hammer
Jan 10 – Feb 14, 2015

Dream Lovers. The Films 2008–2014

, Tobias Zielony
Dec 6, 2014 – Feb 14, 2015

2014

Dämmstoffe

, Heinrich Dunst
Nov 1 – Dec 18, 2014

Pinturas Aeropostales

, Eugenio Dittborn
Sep 13 – Nov 23, 2014

Cool Drink on a Hot Day

, Chris Martin
May 3 – Jul 27, 2014

In The Stomach Of The Predators

, Alice Creischer
Mar 1 – Apr 19, 2014

2013

Körperformen

, Franz Erhard Walther
Nov 30 – Feb 13, 2013

40 cbm Of Earth From The Iberian Peninsula

, Santiago Sierra
Sep 14 – Oct 30, 2013

Michael E. Smith II

, Michael E. Smith
Apr 27 – Jul 13, 2013

Dignity

, Estate of Barbara Hammer
Feb 16 – Apr 14, 2013

Believers

, Alice Creischer, Chto Delat, Estate of Barbara Hammer, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Michael E. Smith, Franz Erhard Walther, Tobias Zielony, Zanny Begg, Joseph Beuys, Arno Brandlhuber, Ines Doujak, Philippe Halsman, Adrian Piper, Pussy Riot, Christoph Schlingensief, Andreas Siekmann, Santiago Sierra, Andreas Slominski, Sean Snyder
Nov 10, 2012 – Feb 3, 2013

2012

Im Archipel

Arno Brandlhuber
Sep 8 – Oct 21, 2012

Das Etablissement der Tatsachen The Establishment of Matters of Fact

, Alice Creischer
Apr 27 – Jul 22, 2012

Manitoba

, Tobias Zielony
Feb 3 – Apr 15, 2012

Tina Schulz

, Tina Schulz
Nov 5, 2011 – Jan 28, 2012

2011

A Formal Film In Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue

, Mario Pfeifer
Sep 10 – Oct 28, 2011

Social Violence

, Santiago Sierra, Cady Noland
Apr 30 – Jul 29, 2011

Barbara Hammer

, Estate of Barbara Hammer
Feb 12 – Mar 17, 2011

Franz Erhard Walther

, Franz Erhard Walther
Nov 6, 2010 – Feb 11, 2011

2010

Chris Martin

, Chris Martin
Sep 11 – Oct 24, 2010

Michael E. Smith

, Michael E. Smith
Jun 12 – Jul 25, 2010

Vele, Zgora

, Tobias Zielony
May 1 – Jun 5, 2010

The Fourth Wall

, Clemens von Wedemeyer
Jan 23 – Apr 22, 2010

Antirepresentationalism 3: Issues of Empathy Conceptual and Socially oriented Art in Leipzig 1997–2009

, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze, Mario Pfeifer, Tina Schulz, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, Peggy Buth, Jan Caspers/ Anne König/ Jan Wenzel, Chat, Markus Dressen, Famed, Till Gathmann, Lina Grumm, Andreas Grahl, Henriette Grahnert, Mark Hamilton, Bertram Haude, Ramon Haze, Oliver Kossack, Andrea Legiehn, Thomas Lüer, Claudia Annette Maier, Ulrich Polster, Julius Popp, schau-vogel-schau, Julia Schmidt, Tilo Schulz, spector cut+paste, Christoph Weber, Arthur Zalewski
Nov 28, 2009 – Jan 15, 2010

2009

Antirepresentationalism 2: Trouble with Realism. Conceptual and Socially oriented Art in Leipzig 1997–2009

, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze, Mario Pfeifer, Tina Schulz, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, Peggy Buth, Famed, Markus Dressen, Andreas Grahl, Henriette Grahnert, Eiko Grimmberg/ Arthur Zalewski, Mark Hamilton, Ramon Haze, Oliver Kossack, Claudia Annette Maier, Ulrich Polster, Julius Popp, schau-vogel-schau (Marcel Bühler, Alexander Koch), Julia Schmidt, Tilo Schulz, spector cut+paste, Christoph Weber
Oct 17 – Nov 21, 2009

Antirepresentationalism 1: Politics of Redescription. Conceptual and Socially oriented Art in Leipzig 1997–2009

, The Cabinet of Ramon Haze, Mario Pfeifer, Tina Schulz, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tobias Zielony, Peggy Buth, Jan Caspers/ Anne König/ Jan Wenzel, Chat, Markus Dressen, Famed, Till Gathmann, Lina Grumm, Andreas Grahl, Henriette Grahnert, Mark Hamilton, Bertram Haude, Oliver Kossack, Andrea Legiehn, Thomas Lüer, Claudia Annette Maier, Ulrich Polster, Julius Popp, schau-vogel-schau, Julia Schmidt, Tilo Schulz, spector cut+paste, Christoph Weber, Arthur Zalewski
Sep 4 – Oct 10, 2009

KOW ISSUE 5: Spirituality and Anti-Universalism

, Chris Martin
May 1 – May 30, 2009

KOW ISSUE 4: THE SOCIAL USE OF SIGNS (OBLIGATION TO EXPRESS)

, Tina Schulz
Apr 3 – Apr 27, 2009

KOW ISSUE 3: Detroits' Post-Fordism

, Michael E. Smith
Mar 27 – Mar 29, 2009

KOW ISSUE 1: Participatory Minimalism

, Franz Erhard Walther
Feb 27 – Mar 21, 2009

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