The point of departure of the oeuvre of Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (*1951, lives in Antwerp) is the human brain with its analytical and irrational potential in terms of perception and cognizance. Van Kerckhoven’s logic is consistently counteracted by absurdity or mental disruptions, and the analytical is joined with the mystical without viewing this as a contradiction. The exhibition What Would I Do in Orbit? at the Kunstverein Hannover includes works by the artist, who initially trained as a graphic artist, from a total of forty years.
Van Kerckhoven began dealing with research on artificial intelligence early on, whereby visual languages dominated that are influenced by scientific imaging processes: diagrams, graphic animations, and text-image schemes. She used digital on par with analog forms of expression as early as the 1980s and transferred the digitally constructed worlds into space.
The artist uses primarily female bodies like “selfies” as protagonists in drawings, paintings, prints, and films. What is characteristic about her oeuvre is her biographical beginning in the counterculture of punk, feminism, and in the anti-academism typical of her generation, which engendered a pop aesthetic on the one hand, and highly complex contents on the other.
Displays developed specifically for the exhibition separate the total of twelve chapters in the retrospective. Like collages, the individual chapters connect works from different periods that are combined in terms of content and are annotated by associative texts by the artist. Despite the linear sequence of spaces and the supposedly systematic separation, the overall exhibition itself ultimately operates like a kind of brain in which lateral thinking is easy.