Margareta Daepp is an artist who crystallises out her forms through a slow and careful work process. Over the last few years she has constantly developed her means of expression and with that attained in her object installations a complexity in both form and content of the utmost precision. At the moment she is working with the New York based artist Anton Vidokle on a joint exhibition project titled «Degrees of plausibility», which promises a further intensification of the underlying themes and questions that occupy her.
Right from the beginning of her artistic career Margareta Daepp has repeatedly examined polarities. For which reason her objects – as parts of installations – produce a baffling effect which originates above all in the way antitheses are brought into a tense, exciting relationship with one another. An exciting tension also arises from her remarkable superimpositions of sensuously employed materials – terracotta or beeswax – and from the precision of her workmanship, which comes close to the pain threshold.
This applies increasingly to the recently made installations («Archaeology of the Future» / «Yellow Afternoon»), whose individual parts stir up associations with technical objects or household appliances, without allowing any exact categorisation or designation. With such objects Margareta Daepp prompts feelings of ambivalence. In this way she directs our gaze to the seam where the uncanny emerges from the familiar, and where fascination can switch to discomfort, if not a sense of threat. In the installational context, as for instance in «Archaeology of the Future», our attention shifts ultimately from the individual object to the context. The concrete objects become mysterious «finds», much like the potshards in archaeological excavations which, torn from their original context, nevertheless prompt different readings and with that raise the question about – historical – connections. In keeping with the idea of «simulated» contemporary documents, the artefacts present themselves as interpretative signs. The ambivalent equivocalness of the installation points at the same time to the fragile and ever newly created links between the world of things and their names, between perception and interpretation.
With that Margareta Daepp connects her sculptural researches increasingly with work on remembrance and history. It is in this context that she has created her exhibition project with Anton Vidokle: «Degrees of plausibility». At the centre of both installations are objects, historical facts and art objects whose fragmentary character allows different interpretations. The act of giving meaning – dependent on the location – is themed as reconstruction by exposing the mechanisms with which they are staged in each specific case.
Elisabeth Gerber, 1996