Spanning video, performance, sculpture and installation, Judith Hopf’s practice aims to provoke gaps and openings in power relations and order, inserting slap- stick humor, the domestic and the absurd into the space of art. Selfevident and seemingly infallible hierarchies are derided and overturned, favoring instead a spirit of nonconformity that questions our preconceptions and stereotypes. Using her immediate environment and vernacular, everyday objects and materials as a creative point of departure, Judith Hopf’s formal questions playfully translate into political and social ones.
With this approach drinking glasses become bamboo structures, boxes for compu- ters and other telecommunications devices become masks, packaging materials of medicinal products casted in porcelain become bird sculptures and so on. Hopf’s artistic approach can be thought of in connection to the term bricolage, a method outlined most eloquently by Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose seminal work “The Savage Mind,” describes a ‘working with what you got’ approach or an ‘untamed’ way of thinking.
From her “Exhausted Vases” (2011–2013) where overturned vases, emptied of their functionality, appear as fatigued, anthropomorphic characters, to “Zählen!” (2008), an earlier video which features a horse that proves its mathematical acumen to a group of antagonistic humans; from her installation “Flock of Sheep” (2013), that appears as a group of precarious, brutalist creatures or friendly squatters in the exhibition space, to “Bambus” (2008), where tumbler glasses are stacked together like bamboo to form a dense, unstable forest, Judith Hopf’s wor- ks are inscribed with humor and simplicity, formulating a succinct language that playfully interrupts our routinized interpretations and expectations.