Cathrin Schoeberl

Catherin Schöberl: challenging contradictions

Catherin Schoeberl’s creative exploration is a response to societal contradictions. Rather than just accepting the way things are, her artistic journey of starts with deep reflection on the fast and complex transformation of our society. Conscious of the ever-growing digitalisation of our daily life, this German artist combines digital and analogue to open new perspectives on how we perceive technology. For Catherin, digital is not just a new media, but rather a material itself, like steel or wood. It is the perfect material to explore and question the times we are witnessing.

meaning and application

With a background in Arts and German Language, Catherin moved to Basel to delve into her research and translate her thoughts into her artistic practice. During this time, the artist explored the social and political input of her studies moving her focus to art education. She questioned  not only what artworks mean, but also what people are doing with them. 

The video-collage This Is An Invitation asks how women can shape their freedom today. Without pointing to a moral solution or direction, the work challenges stereotypes about women in order to open free discussion. Art can challenge your belief or irritate you, yet, you need to be open to interact with it. Catherin uses the element of the video in the space as an invitation to confront the topic from any point of view. 

Images supplied by artist. Credits as listed.

The provocative elements of her work want to engage the viewer and stimulate an alternative angle on reality. In the exhibition Next archive – Predictive Memories, the artist questions how technology is influencing our daily life and how we form memories. Located in a storage room, the interactive installation seeks to open discussion, even outside the ‘white cube’. The viewer enters in a capsule where an AI reads their future. Within the multimedia installation, human and technology come together, visualising how we are mutually shaping. Digital devices aren’t just mere tools, but material that is reforming our cultural habits. The artwork, once again, becomes an invitation to rethink our relationship with technology, not only as consumers but as conscious actors. 

Catherin invites contemplation

Combining videos, installations, sounds and words, Catherin always suggests a bodily movement to experience her works. Rather than a room to fill, in her pieces space becomes a little world for the artwork. If digital devices can make you forget about the body, her installations remind you that you need a physical presence to feel. 

Inspired by the Tower of Babylon, the installation It’s a Trap. Enjoy! radicalises this double perspective. It is the installation that guides the viewer, rather than the opposite. The sign lit in red on top of an empty silo in the countryside is visible from the town centre. When walking to the silo, the viewer can no longer see the sign. Instead a video projection appears. The space of the installation becomes an active element of the work, suggesting to the spectator a movement to experience the totality of the work. 

Still processing the consequences of this global pandemia, Catherin is embracing the challenge of thinking about a new relationship with the audience. Meantime the artist is working on a project about ‘prepping’ for the end of the world. Surrounded by all these stories and dystopian scenarios, the only real fear is not finishing before the end. 

Currently, Catherin is one of the residents at PILOTENKUECHE Online Residency, inspiring her to  reconsider the role of videos and different art practices.  

written by Costanza Tagliaferri

If you want to see more of Catherin’s work look at her website and instagram