Katie Paterson
PKM, Seoul, South Korea, 24 March – 6 May 6, 2011

PKM Gallery | Bartleby Bickle & Meursault are pleased to present a solo exhibition of new and recent work by Katie Paterson (b. 1981), one of the most acclaimed young artists to emerge from Britain in recent years. This is the artist’s first exhibition in Asia.

Recently named by the Observer of London as one of four “Best New Artists in Britain,” Katie Paterson first came to public attention with a solo show at Modern Art Oxford in 2008, just a year after graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. That show featured Vatnajökull (the sound of), which connected a microphone embedded in an Icelandic glacier to audio equipment and a mobile phone line, allowing callers from anywhere in the world to listen in real time to the slow melting of the glacier. It was shown with another work that was equally cogent in its conceptual basis yet deeply poetic in effect, Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon). Taking Beethoven’s familiar notes and transcribing them into Morse codes that were sent via radio waves to bounce off the moon, Paterson ended up with returning signals that were degraded by the cratered lunar surface in random yet subtly haunting ways—a Moonlight Sonata altered and reconstituted by the moon itself.

Both works are included in the present exhibition, adapted by the artist to our gallery setting. Other works in the show are also representative of Paterson’s research-based, multidisciplinary practice, which engages with ideas of nature, environment, and the cosmos in ways that are at once poetic, scientific, and philosophical. Though coolly minimalist and understated in their presentation, her works are often the result of long, intensive research and collaboration with specialists in various technological expertise.

Light Bulb to Simulate Moonlight, for instance, is a set of incandescent bulbs developed in cooperation with OSRAM to transmit light with wavelengths identical to those of moonlight. And History of Darkness is a slide archive of darkness, spanning billions of years, captured at different times and places throughout the universe—an ongoing life-long project that compiles images and information gathered by astronomical observatories. Similarly, in making The Dying Star Letters, Paterson relies on technical notifications of gamma-ray bursts, indicative of stellar deaths, sent out by astronomers and cosmologists. Upon receiving such notification, Paterson hand-writes and posts a brief letter announcing the star’s death—a characteristically spare yet intimate gesture which collapses the distance between her audience and the most distant edges of the cosmos.

Born in 1981 in Glasgow, Katie Paterson received her BA from Edinburgh College of Art in 2004 and her MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2007. She has exhibited in solo shows at James Cohan Gallery, New York (2011); Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2008); Albion Gallery, London (2008); and Matthew Bown Gallery, London (2007). She has also been selected for inclusion in important international group shows such as “Space. About a Dream,” Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2011); “Cage Mix: Sculpture & Sound,” BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2010); “Lifeforms,” Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2009); Performa 09, New York (2009); “Universal Code,” The Power Plant, Toronto (2009); and “Altermodern: Tate Triennial,” Tate Britain, London (2009).