What do you Look Like? A Crypto Demonic Mystery

An exhibition and performance by Judith Hopt that questions how we perceive bodies.

8 April–6 June 2006 / Casco HQ

In the late 19th Century developments in radiology gave us the ability to look through the body and photograph it, whole or broken. Previously a person had to die before one was able to look inside and see that which keeps one upright: a bright, semi-transparent bone structure.  

The disappearance of the normally visible outside, and the picture of the inside that this kind of photography enables, raises the question as to what is not seen in terms of our imaginations and relationships towards our bodies and body concepts. In the end we don’t look like these photographs.  

The question of how we look not only comes into discussions around fashion, the body becomes increasingly under pressure to be seen as healthy and functional, and often other body concepts tend to vanish. The history of transparency, of disappearing and a crypto-demonic mystery – “what you look like” – is the theme of the exhibition and performance at Casco, where a stage character opens up a discussion around the body.  

Hopf’s recent video, The Uninvited (2005, in collaboration with Katrin Pesch), is shown in a new installation. In this quasi-documentary style video, the daily movements of a young family through Berlin’s eerily clean “Neue Mitte” (“New Center”) are crossed by a series of ghostly figures, each personifying a sense of uneasiness that contrasts with the social consensus that the family attempts to follow.  Judith Hopf lives and works in Berlin. What Do You Look Like? A Crypto Demonic Mystery, Part 1: Minimalissimo lays the foundation for a series of works that Hopf will produce over the course of 2006 and 2007, which will be shown at Kunst Werke, Berlin, Secession, Vienna and Portikus, Frankfurt.


Judith Hopf’s commission for Casco was made possible by the support of the Mondriaan Foundation and Gemeente Utrecht

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