Marie Artaker


Kate Newby. I cant nail the days down

  • Editor(s): Juliane Bischoff
  • Publisher: Sternberg Press, Kunsthalle Wien
  • Year: 2019
  • Size: 26.5 × 18.5 cm
  • Number of pages: 137

Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Kate Newby. I can’t nail the days down” at Kunsthalle Wien, 2018.

With a photo-essay by Kate Newby and texts by Juliane Bischoff, Christina Barton, Chris Kraus and Nicolaus Schafhausen.

“My research consists of site-specific projects that form relationships with locations through actions. The projects draw directly from the situations in which they are presented. I examine concepts such as being in the world, addressing the everyday, the role of the travelling artist, the artwork as object, and casualness, and feed off a combination of sources and methodologies. I may draw on disciplines such as interior design and architecture, but I apply them as only an artist would. Though very specific, I intend my art works to come across as open and casual gestures.” — Kate Newby, “Casualness: it’s not about what it looks like it’s about what it does.,” PhD of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, 2014

The catalogue’s visual concept tries to think both the aspects of a quiet appearance and familiar experience together with the incongruous, unexpected elements present in Newby’s work. The phrasing in the artist’s dissertation, referring to “ambiguous precision”, precision as a result of spontaneity, and a clarity that isn’t rigid, as well as the importance of detail in her work, informed the look and feel of the book.

The grid is based on centred elements, alluding to a familiar and classic feel in books. At the same time, there are elements of the layout that depart from and break out of this centricity. For example, the unmediated positioning of the images in the photo essay, its first image unconventionally printed on the yellow endpaper; the handwritten captions.

The cover hints at a diffuse shadow cast on a piece of paper, taken from a photograph by Kate Newby for the exhibition booklet I can’t nail the days down. The shadow is sometimes barely noticeable and appears to change, depending on light and angle. In that sense, the printed shadow almost behaves like a real one.

The cover is a reference to the changing light situations, a recurring theme in Newby’s photographs of objects she notices on the pavement or that catch her attention. The exploration of light and shadow continues in the photographic essay, for which the artist printed each image and re-photographed it in various weather and light conditions. The layout of the exhibition views allude to a description of Newby’s work as “remnants of investigations”, allowing close readings of all the details, as well as an overview of the entire installation.

The yellow book ribbon acts as a direct reference to the hand using the book and the intimacy of reading, as well as Newby’s work.

Studio photography by Robi Faustmann,
picture editing by Anna Zimmermann

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