Katinka Bock at Fondation Pernod Ricard

Though best known for her sculptures, Katinka Bock has long kept photography on the periphery of her studio practice. “Der Sonnenstitch” (Sunstroke), the artist’s first photo-focused show, features some sixty-five photographs—mostly gelatin silver prints—taken between 2015 and 23 with a 35-mm film camera. Arranged in pairs and small groupings, the works are presented on the gallery walls and across several custom-designed aluminum-and-green-linen-covered panels suspended from the ceiling. Incorporating another medium into the mise-en-scène, Bock has affixed small, irregular slabs of green-glazed ceramics (La Marge [The Margin], 2023) to both the structural and floating walls, further amplifying aspects of volume and texture throughout the installation. As if creating brackets around certain photo clusters, the ceramics also reinforce the formal and conceptual connections between Bock’s photographs and her sculptures.

Over the past decade, Bock has used her Pentax to document serendipitous and ephemeral experiences such as the very first drops of rain dampening shirts laid out on a wooden bench (Lang und kurz [Long and Short], 2020), pillow crease marks on her daughter’s cheek (For your eyes only [July], 2016), or a wasp’s brief landing on a friend’s wrist (Building Bridges, 2021). If intimate family time is the implied context for many of the photos on view, Bock nonetheless maintains a sense of anonymity. Her use of cropping emphasizes materiality over personality, giving abstracted body parts a distinctly sculptural feeling. In Geographie AA, (Geography AA), 2022, Bock’s son’s hands, blackened from playing basketball in the street, evoke tarnished bronze. The torso in Alex Pompeii, 2021, clad in a white T-shirt with deep, expressive pleats, recalls Hellenistic marble.

Other photographs on view have direct ties to specific sculptures by Bock. The flaccid cactus in Dead Cactus, 2016, for instance, predates subsequent sculptures featuring casts of dead cacti. The small crab in a teacup pictured in Conversation suspended, Glasgow, 2018, was a stowaway in Bock’s ceramic piece of the same title, which was submerged for a time in Scotland’s River Clyde. Undoubtedly, the artist’s work in three dimensions informs her photographs, but it is equally compelling to see how photography brings Bock’s sculptures into focus.

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