RTSM | Hannah COOKE: "Uncurtain"

TEXT:CAFA ART INFO    DATE: 2020.12.28

Uncurtain 1.jpg

Uncurtain, curtain, stitching, reflective fabric, 255 x 150cm, 2020

The curtain of the studio 2051 at the Cité international des arts becomes the image carrier of my memories.

When moving into the atelier at Cité, the generations of artists before me are visible: floor, ceiling and inventory are fallen out of time and the traces of work and improvisation by the artists have been manifested in the room and objects.

The curtain has seen better times. Holey, stained and torn out it hangs on the studio window. Three strips of fabric were torn out years ago.

Inspired by the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi (literally ”Repairing with gold”), I have devoted myself to the destroyed curtain. Patched the holes, supplemented the curtain by embroidery and filled in the missing part with a reflective fabric.

The embroideries represent my impressions, which I collected during my time in Paris. Due to the strict Covid-19 Lockdown my movement and space was extremely restricted and regulated the last two months of my residency. The embroideries show scenes from my direct environment.

Central questions of my work concern the concepts of institutional and hierarchical critique, the infiltration of systems, as well as the questioning of standards, regulations and role concepts.

My work is often based on thorough research. The outcome finds it’s form in all kind of media, as photography, video, performance and installation elements.

In a humorous manner I question well established power structures and reveal the characteristics of the art world.


Portrait of Hannah Cooke © Sebastian Heck

Hannah Cooke's works have been exhibited at the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Badischer Kunstverein, Mimosa House London, Kleine Humboldt Gallery Berlin, Contemporary Art Space in Baku (Azerbaijan) and the A4 Art Museum in Chengdu (China) among others.

For her work she received a residence scholarship at the Cité internationale des Arts Paris, the Federal Art Prize Germany for art students and project funding by the city of Karlsruhe. In addition, Hannah Cooke was nominated for the shortlist of the Mother Art Prize London and received numerous other awards and scholarships.


Image and Text Courtesy of the Artist.

Edited by Sue and Emily