Installation shot, 2016 | Courtesy the artist and Wentrup, Berlin, photo Peles Empire
The artists Katharina Stöver and Barbara Wolff, who go by the name of Peles Empire, have designed a large site-specific installation that is based on several years of absorbed investigation into the relationship between original and copy.
Their collaboration began while still studying at the Städelschule art academy in Frankfurt, when they travelled to Peles Castle in Romania to conduct research on that castle’s wild clash of historic styles (and from whence they coined their artist name). The new show at Wentrup involves a complete restaging of the gallery space and the results are as multifarious as photographic wallpaper, Jesmonite sculptures, and rugs printed with photographs to create a comprehensive play on the selfsame gallery space. Their work overlays the exhibition space, replicating it upon itself – often, however, with a shift in medium and material. In Peles Empire’s rendition of the gallery within the gallery, the copied copy manifests itself as the new original.