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Karin Bartels

  • 20140212131943-titlescreence
  • 20140404094321-2_ce_map_europe_hatpins
  • 20140212131442-jewellery_atlas
  • 20140312174546-title_screen_ce_paris
  • 20140404094606-7_ce_map_paris


Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, 2013, BDes
Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap), Paris

digital, conceptual, mixed-media, storytelling, research, writing, atlas, archive


There is no meaning if meaning is not shared, and not because there would be an ultimate or first signification that all beings have in common, but because meaning is itself the sharing of Being. 

- Jean-Luc Nancy


My practice takes shape by operating in daily life. The ongoing project "Chance Encounters | a Gesture, an Object, a Décor.” is the core of my current creative practice. Central to the development of my practice are the results coming from a micro research on the chance encounters I have in public space as well as a search for gems in the fleeting moments of daily life. By mapping, collecting and archiving my chance encounters, I investigates the role of chance, the gift, relational aesthetics and the impact of public space on social interaction with strangers.

The ever-growing archive of collected materials is used to create digital atlases guided by the use of my imagination. In here well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language I reflect on the subjects that I'm researching, balancing on the intersection of fiction, theory and reality. 

Among others I try to discover if there is any coherence between the different encounters and the alternative knowledge these encounters generate. My latest research through montage of images is a comment on the expanded field of jewellery and the social life of jewellery objects. Following my findings I combine my personal experience together with my research. 
This resulted in a time based piece. A narrated form of autofiction, visualised by the montage of images in this Atlas. The work features coincidental, and unexpected connections, combining these unrelated aspects leads to surprising analogies. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, I formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind this seemingly random work. In my practice I try to achieve a certain level of immateriality and aspire to offer an experience by creating a concentrated life within a piece.

Note: The artworks on view are fragments from the research and work, these two elements are entwined and give an impression of the visual landscape of the ongoing project “Chance Encounters | a Gesture, an Object, a Décor.”

Nominee GRA awards for the thesis “Chance Encounters | a Gesture, an Object, a Décor.”


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