In the studio with ...
Josephine Baker

The dioramic sculptures of London-based artist Josephine Baker question what part the depiction of landscape and natural phenomena has to play in human world-building and world-destroying. They will be presented by ChertLüdde on the occassion of Gallery Weekend Berlin 2020.

‘Islands’ (detail), 2019, preformed pond, cement, tiles, anticlimb spikes plywood, pine, pigments

Courtesy the Artist and BUNGALOW, Berlin

Together with readily-available industrial and household materials synonymous with designed urban terrains, large-scale diagrammatic chalk drawings, and the disorienting structures of language in her poems, Baker creates environments which clutch the incoherence of the world they have been suscepted to and are inextricably a part of. Here, metaphor and symbolism are locked into conversation with a kind of logic or pragmatism, as if conflicting worldviews were being asked to carefully negotiate their differences. Her makeshift architectures attempt to house the geopolitical contradictions embedded in the very materials that comprise them, where walls and frontiers hold both the possibility of belonging, but also separation; safety, but also coercive control.

In her interview in April this year with SOS: Sculptors on Sculpture, Baker describes the studio as a microclimatic habitat, and discusses the interpretation of nature into functional and consumable realities, the stories materials tell about the processes they undergo, and her considerations of catastrophism during the COVID-19 pandemic.