Kerstin Drechsel’s investigation of everyday culture, artistic production and individual taste is orientated towards the rhythms of popular music, film and daily occurrences. From transvestites to sex club devotees, office workers to nuclear protestors, Drechsel captures intimate personal moments of individuals or sub-culture groups expressing or identifying themselves through their clandestine rituals or in the specific environments they create around themselves.

‘If you close the door’ is Drechsel’s second solo exhibition at Vane. Based on several photo sessions with women friends, Drechsel’s works explore lesbian club culture and thematise the darkroom as a semi-public place of erotic and intimate encounters. The focus is equally on the place itself and the bodies that move within it.

The subject of ‘If you close the door’ is intertwined with the instinctive reaction of the viewer to position themselves as a voyeur. Drechsel’s paintings show women and architectural elements in ever new configurations, details, lighting conditions and perspectives. As an installation, ‘If you close the door’ transfers the mechanisms of the sex club darkroom into the exhibition space. The reduced, sexual functionality of the ambience is juxtaposed with complex existential feelings, fears and longings, all of which combine to create the possibility of intimacy, physical fulfilment and even love, as well as that of loneliness and emotional hurt. In the interplay between authenticity and enactment, Drechsel’s paintings take up female pornographic stereotypes and at the same time undermine them by making them ambiguous. Just as the photographic sources for her paintings are neither completely staged nor documentary, the paintings change depending on the moods and relationships depicted, with their style oscillating between hard surfaces and lines, between colour gradients and gestural movements.

An artist’s monograph, ‘Heat Storage Systems’, published by Hatje-Cantz Verlag, featuring work from the exhibition is available from the Vane shop.