Cube Gallery

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Karina Kraenzle

Tuesday March 6th, 2012 to
Sunday April 1st, 2012


Sun Mar 11th, 2012 — 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Bloom a solo show by Karina Kraenzle


The work of Karina Kraenzle is an exploration of photography -- its relationship with time and memory and its unique ability to construct fictions and uncertain truths.

"In BLOOM, my goal was to build 'sculptures' that could be realized only in the act of making a photograph," she says. Using a  scanner as a camera, repeated small manipulations of ordinary materials combined with a multitude of scans becomes the process whereby each sculpture is “built”.
The fascinating paradox of Karina's work is that neither photograph nor sculpture can exist, one without the other. The title BLOOM therefore refers to both the organic quality of the image as well as to its organic mode of production.

Kraenzle is an Ottawa multimedia artist who has exhibited her photographs across Canada and the U.S. She has received numerous awards and grants recognizing her work.   

 “The relationship between sculpture and photography has been an interest of mine for quite some time," she says.  "This body of work is the culmination of considerable experimentation. Its aim, quite simply, is to give form and expression to the ephemeral nature of both material and image.”

The following is an excerpt from an article that will appear in Guerilla magazine #31, to be posted on Tuesday, March 27 at

By Barbara Cuerden  
In nature, the bloom is evidence of a transformative moment before going to seed, often quickly followed by decay. Haunted by Karina Kraenzle’s Bloom images (exhibited at Ottawa’s Cube gallery until April 1st), I observed at the end of a recent visit with her a creepy perhaps Victorian Gothic quality to some of her work. She surprised me by quoting Giacometti when reflecting how in her best work she somehow connects with the dead:
The best I can say is that I think that I focus on death quite a bit in my work or maybe with just the temporariness of our existence, and the quote is “I aim to please the dead"...
In this latest series of digital images created meticulously via scanner, Kraenzle offers tangible evidence of an underworld of spirits. The artist loosens the stays and corsets, making you aware of your own breath on the other side of the glass.
Assembling surface topographies of ephemera, Kraenzle winds and then unwinds her subject matter. “Binding is what I started out with, but not what I ended up with,” she says of the work. What’s pictured are loosely bound bits of ‘nothing’—dryer fluff, string, cotton or wax paper—they take on shapes that mimic your surprised breath as it issues into the winter air. Or perhaps like breath on a mirror, you think, these works are still breathing inside their dark containers.
Kraenzle’s works maintain an exquisite tension contained within the space between the scanner’s glass surface and the back of the frame. The photographic and printing processes trace exchanges between what I want to call positive and negative transpirations. Between what is tangible and intangible, a ghostly imprint breathes between surfaces.
In conversation however, Kraenzle corrects my use of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’:
There’s no negative in digital photography. There really is only a positive. The technology is different … [in analog photography] light is turned through chemistry into an image ... The scanner is a lens-less technology ... With a scanner, you have that little chip and it’s moving across the back of the glass, back and forth alongside the light. The difference in resolution is enormous. It doesn’t have to gather up all that light, it’s literally one to one ... it’s actually recording, graphing, through light. It can go directly on every spot on that image ... if you set it at 1600 dpi it’s going to go really slowly. It’s collecting more information per pixel, if you want to say that, dot-to-dot, and then every bit of that light, from every single point, is being graphed. It turns what it sees into a number.