Karina Smigla-Bobinski – “I am talking about a complex world.”

Karina Smigla-Bobinski standing next to her interactive video installation SIMULACRA, MoTA Museum of Transitory Art, Ljubljana, 2013.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski standing next to her interactive video installation SIMULACRA, MoTA Museum of Transitory Art, Ljubljana, 2013.

Karina Smigla-Bobinski was born in Stettin in 1967, and between 1986 and 87 she studied at the Academy of Pictorial Arts in Kraków. In 1993 she continued her studies at the Munich Academy as a master student under Gerhard Berger, which she completed with a diploma.

She invited the general public to participate in her work as early as 1999 in her installation entitled SILVER SALT (ill. 1 a, b). When visitors enter the space which is completely covered in earth, their footsteps uncover mementos like photographs, locks of hair, ribbons and letters placed under plexiglass plates. Each visitor uncovers another piece of history for, according to Marcel Proust, the past hides itself “as soon as it has passed away, within a material object“ and not in the memory created in our minds (Contre Sainte-Beuve, 1954). The title of the installation refers to the materialisation of the past through the light-sensitive substances used in photography. The installation changes just as the stories change with every revealed memento. “A work of art no longer belongs to you once you have released it. Then it is a part of the world, influences it, and changes the world and itself through the confrontation with other people.” (Karina Smigla-Bobinski)

Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s early videos are also about the way we perceive human existence. In a break with conventional habits of seeing she installed the monitor for the video EMERGING (1999, ill. 2a, b) in a recess in the floor so that visitors were permanently able to look down on a person emerging from the water in an endless loop. The video DREAM JOURNEY (2002, ill. 3, Video) is a surreal journey into a world roughly the same size as a human life. “When people ask us who we are, we tell them stories about us”, explained Laurie Anderson when she was talking about her album Album Bright Red (1994), whose songs are responsible for the musical part. The video is a sequence of memory fragments and emotional states in the form of abstract poetic sequences in which the hands of two lovers touch each other and remove themselves once more, coloured drops of water fall into a watery surface, float past each other, come together to make up a duet and finally dissolve into blurry streaks. Photos of a little girl function as testimonies to the memory of her being swept away on a journey by her father. The sea horizon, reflections in the water and the movement of the waves underline the permanent fluidity of life and a life lived between dream and reality. 

Mediathek
  • ADA, 2011

    An analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.
  • ROUTEN, 2002

    ROUTES, 2002. Single channel video.
  • DREAM JOURNEY, 2002

    DREAM JOURNEY, 2002. Single channel video, 25 mins. Copyright: Karina Smigla-Bobinski
  • WORMHOLE, 2008

    A video installation in a public space. Steel construction, glass, video, monitor, DVD player. Ø = 100 cm, H = 110 cm. Copyright: Karina Smigla-Bobinski.
  • SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation.

    ill. 1a: SILVER SALT, 1999

    SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation, photos, plexiglass, earth.
  • SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation.

    ill. 1b: SILVER SALT, 1999

    SILVER SALT, 1999. Analogue interactive Installation, photos, plexiglass, earth.
  • EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor.

    ill. 2a: EMERGING, 1999

    EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor, ca. 30 x 40 cm.
  • EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor.

    ill. 2b: EMERGING, 1999

    EMERGING, 1999. Video installation in the floor, ca. 30 x 40 cm.
  • DREAM JOURNEY, 2002. Single channel video, 25 mins.

    ill. 3: DREAM JOURNEY, 2002

    DREAM JOURNEY, 2002. Single channel video, 25 mins. Premiere 2002 (see video).
  • A CATWALK BANQUET, 2000. Video stage design for a dance performance.

    ill. 4: SEE AND BE SCENE, 2000

    A CATWALK BANQUET, 2000. Video stage design for a dance performance. Premiere: Haus der deutschen Wirtschaft, Berlin 2000.
  • ISLANDS, 2004. A light and slide installation.

    ill. 5: ISLANDS, 2004

    ISLANDS, 2004. A light and slide installation. Premiere: Olympic Park, Munich, 2004.
  • ALIAS, 2004. An interactive video installation.

    ill. 6: ALIAS, 2004

    ALIAS, 2004. An interactive video installation. Premiere: 2004 (Winner of the Bremen Promotion Prize for Video Art, 2003).
  • 7 METRES, 2005. A room installation. Wire mesh fence, barbed wire, clothing. 300 x 300 cm.

    ill. 7: 7 METRES, 2005

    7 METRES, 2005. A room installation. Wire mesh fence, barbed wire, clothing. 300 x 300 cm, Premiere: Galeria Edgar Neville, Valencia 2005.
  • RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector.

    ill. 8a: RETURN TO SENDER, 2006

    RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector. The Montpellier Dance Festival 2006.
  • RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector.

    ill. 8b: RETURN TO SENDER, 2006

    RETURN TO SENDER, 2006. Video stage design for performance. Video, tents, stage screen, projector. Premiere: the Montpellier Dance Festival 2006 (Detail).
  • DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide.

    ill. 9a: DEEP TREE, 2008

    DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide. Premiere at the City of Sculpture project in Mérida/Yucatán 2008.
  • DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide.

    ill. 9b: DEEP TREE, 2008

    DEEP TREE, 2008. A light installation in a public space. Living bamboos, mirror, maxi-slide. Premiere at the City of Sculpture project in Mérida/Yucatán 2008 (Detail).
  • QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. PVC balloon, helium, Ø = 200 cm high = 400 cm.

    ill. 10a: QUERY, 2009

    QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. PVC balloon, helium, Ø = 200 cm high = 400 cm. Premiere: St. Luke’s Church, Munich 2009.
  • QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. St. Luke’s Church, Munich 2009.

    ill. 10b: QUERY, 2009

    QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project. St. Luke’s Church, Munich 2009.
  • QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project, 2009.

    ill. 10c: QUERY, 2009

    QUERY, 2009. An on-site, online art project, 2009.
  • ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.

    ill. 11a: ADA, 2011

    ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.
  • ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.

    ill. 11b: ADA, 2011

    ADA, 2011. Analogue interactive installation / kinetic sculpture / post-digital drawing machine, PVC balloon, charcoal, helium, Ø = 300 cm.
  • SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation.

    ill. 12a: SIMULACRA, 2013

    SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation.
  • SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).

    ill. 12b: SIMULACRA, 2013

    SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).
  • SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).

    ill. 12c. SIMULACRA, 2013

    SIMULACRA, 2013. An interactive video installation (Detail).
  • CONE, 2013. A sound installation.

    ill. 13: CONE, 2013

    CONE, 2013. A sound installation.Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Centre, Istanbul 2013.
  • MORNING STAR, 2013. A sculptural installation made out of arrows.

    ill. 14: MORNING STAR, 2013

    MORNING STAR, 2013. A sculptural installation made out of arrows, Ø = 200 cm.