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Anja Brogan

Size Matters #2

Osthaus Museum Hagen, Hagen

(c) Franz-Georg Stämmele

German-American artist Anja Brogan presents expansive environments and impressive atmospheric spaces at the Osthaus Museum Hagen. With charming ease, she proves that "avant-garde feminism" in art can go hand in hand with a good dose of subversive humor, ambiguous sensuality, and political acuity.

The works on display were created in connection with the exhibition. Anja Brogan surprises visitors with her free use of stylistic and compositional elements. The artist finds her points of reference in the history of art from the Renaissance to modernism, as well as in TV culture and pornography. She inverts female and male role clichés, questions conventions, delightfully dismantles the unspoken agreements in art and society.

Who or what is visible or remains invisible? Who or what is suppressed and fixed to certain characteristics? How much do we believe the images? The demand for self-determined visibility is one of the central identity-political concerns that the new social movements have been forcefully advocating since the 1970s. Representation creates identity, visibility power, sayable knowledge. Anja Brogan counters this with her own dissident images, takes away the effect of clichés through irony. At the same time, she asks what it takes for such a contradiction against the dominant, which has become art, to actually create new realities.

Brogan's works deal with power and powerlessness, art and commerce, consumption and sex. She is concerned with the possibilities that professionalism and dilettantism make available in the art business, and examines how artistic success and everyday life are constructed. At the same time, she addresses how the individual in general, and she as an artist and woman, can position herself in these roles.

In June 2019, the Osthaus Museum Hagen opened the first institutional solo exhibition of German-American artist Anja Brogan in Germany, which will continue and conclude with Size Matters #2 in early December 2021. While in the first part of Size Matters visitors encountered minimalist and very reduced installations, the second exhibition now shows multi-part spatial installations in atmospheric compression.

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