‘Kate Lepper’s practice draws on aesthetic codes associated with both commodity culture and the Green movement as a means to articulate a present-day political, ethical and economic entanglement with the natural world, equally marked by a sense of dooms-day environmental urgency, as by a hedonistic law-of-the-jungle market paradigm. Her works pit the morally cumbersome visual language of eco-politics against the light happy shiny feel of neon plastics via the unexpected breeding ground of performance technology, often corrupting vivid high efficiency camping/sporting gear and safety devices to the point of formal design. Lepper deliberately takes on the eco markers’ hefty burden of civic duty, collective responsibility and concerted compromise, marrying it with the guilt-ridden consumer appeal and accessibility of bright synthetic materials, not as a means to void the former’s lofty claims and purposes, but to show the inextricable ramifications of these two seemingly antithetical frameworks. Informed by post-colonial questions, she transposes this problematic rapport into artistic terms by investigating both the grand designs of immersive environments and the dumb, vegetative state of inert objects (or “autonom” in the artist’s words) – their literal mute-iny in the face of our insatiable desire to see them speak. Through this process, Lepper endeavors to articulate the inherent connections that bind matter, gestures and ideology into myriad configurations of power and value. Acknowledging that sentient influence runs as deep as quantum spooky action (the mutual sway of observer and observe), she transposes the antagonistic forces of creation and entropy into the terms of a harm/benefit ratio as a means to address “environmental and human health problems related to production, maintenance and disposal”i. In this way, Lepper engages a reflection into the manner in which artistic practices, environmental movements and economic agendas all filter matter into resources, highlighting the vital impacts and malignant corollaries of such instrumental forms of mediation.’
Stéphanie Bertrand, 2013.
Writer and independent curator based in Greece.
Chie Konishi Discusses Kate Lepper’s Project at Meantime Project-Space, May/June 2012 Chie Konishi Discusses Kate Lepper’s Project