Kirstine Roepstorff’s collages exude primal instinct at its best; getting back to basics has never been so glamorous. Excavating the most rudimentary cornerstone of culture, Roepstorff takes her departure point from rocks (yes, those hard things on the ground!) In Roepstorff’s hands this unorthodox and quirkily luddite theme becomes a shrewd and astucious metaphor for the historiography of civilisation as we know it, with cunning satire propelled fast and hard.
Roepstorff’s work relishes in its unrefined physicality, translating the conceptual networks of information transaction into the palpable realm of ‘stuff’: textiles, crumpled foil, wall paper, bits of random bijoux compile as geological specimens, fetishistic totems, homebrew artefacts reconstructing suggestive narratives. Unearthing the axioms of anthropological development, Roepstorff’s hand crafted ‘rocks’ are deceptively complicated:
juxtaposed with media images and consumer materials, they evoke blood diamond allure, revolutionary dissent, grass roots community, global economics, and a primordial urge for violence, lionising the heathen ritual of modern living.
Presented in faux museological display, her works frame the archaic crudeness of raw capitalism with rarefied preciousness, both as contemporary talismans and hauntingly obsolete relics. Set within and around glass vitrines, her intuitive compositions reinforce the malleability of history with the tactility of making. Contriving an alternative mythology through the free-flow associations of acquisition and value, Roepstorff wittily poses primitivism as the epitome of cultural hierarchy; her luxuriously fabricated ruins celebrate the vestige drive of desire: indulgent, consumptive, unabashedly unpolished and fundamentally sublime.
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