Kate Pickering works predominantly with film and text. Often casting herself as the central figure, her films draw on issues around existentialism, belief and the question of a gift or talent as a bestowed virtue. It is not always clear to the viewer whether the dead-pan character Pickering presents is a reality, or if the viewers themselves are being taken on a proverbial ‘ride’
On the subject of proverbs, Pickering seems to cast herself, in both text and film, as a prophet-like figure, questioning the meaning behind art and creating a discourse that is at home in the post-modern world, similar to that presented by Nicolas Bourriaud in the exhibition ‘Altermodern’ where he suggested artists are moving towards a new type of modernity.
Her style could be perceived as ephemeral or indirect, yet her manner and choice of words are by contrast absolutely direct. A piece of text scrolling across a recent film states, ‘she believed that this was true art, art that meant something. Even if this was something she couldn’t fully comprehend.’
Kate Pickering Lay It All Down, 2009
Reactions to Pickering’s work are wide ranging; some are moved by her works, others feel disconcerted by her focus on the meaning of art and a suggestion of a grand narrative. Pickering's work seems to fit within a current return to a type of sincerity within art practice, even if this is the very thing pulled into question.
Kate Pickering Untitled, 2009
Kate Pickering We Will Make A Way, 2009
Pickering is currently exhibiting as part of ‘the Assistant’ at BEARSPACE, where she has received a list of instructions to create a work by Maria Fusco, director of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College. She also has an upcoming solo exhibition at Bloc Space in Sheffield in November, 2010. It seems that Kate has a good future ahead as she stays true to her style of presentation and continues to baffle her audience.
Julia Alvarez is the Director of BEARSPACE and an independent curator in London, described by Time Out as ‘an organising force.’ Julia curates exhibitions and projects in her unique style of fun, colour, philosophy and style widely acclaimed for their form and content. She works with exciting established and emerging artists.
Julia Alvarez, June 2010.
Kate Pickering on Axis