The Robert Koch Gallery is pleased to present Heterotopia, the inaugural exhibition at the gallery for Brooklyn-based French-American artist Karine Laval.
Karine Laval produces images that challenge the familiar perception we have of the world, and can be seen as a bridge between the place we inhabit and a more surreal and dreamlike dimension. They are metaphorical voyages or reveries through time, place, memory and perception, where narratives are expanded through visual transformations of represented reality. The term Heterotopia, the inspiration for Laval’s series, was coined by French philosopher Michel Foucault and refers to “spaces of otherness” that are “neither here nor there”, Laval explains. The composite landscapes produced by Laval are at once familiar and conversely otherworldly, bursting from within with radioactive colors set in staccato. Omnipresent is the natural world, enveloped in aural resonance and ghostly organic layering created via the use of mirrors and glass, thus challenging our perceptions and forcing us to look deeper. Laval’s Heterotopia series is as much compositionally astute, as it is meditative and playfully experimental.
Karine Laval graduated from the University of La Sorbonne in Paris, where she majored in communications and journalism. She completed her photography and design education at the Cooper Union School, School of Visual Arts, and the New School in New York. Laval’s images have been featured in international publications such as The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Sunday Telegraph, Le Monde, and Le Figaro Magazine, to name a few. Her work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally at venues such as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; the Sorlandet Art Museum in Kristiansand, Norway; and the Palm Springs Art Museum. In 2016, Laval collaborated with Hermès New York to produce an installation of works from Heterotopia in the store’s downtown Manhattan windows. Karine Laval was nominated for the prestigious 2016 Prix Pictet Award. In 2014 Laval received the Jury’s Prize at the 6th ASVOFF International Film Festival in Rome for her short film State of Flux, and previously in 2011 her video Inferno was presented at Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of the ASVOFF International Film Festival. Other awards include Humble Art Foundation’s 31 Women in Art Photography in 2011, and a Peter S. Reed Foundation’s Grant in 2005. Laval’s first monograph, Poolscapes, will be published by Steidl in 2018.