May 12 - June 18, 2016
Text and curatorial support by Olga Gambari
Riccardo Costantini Contemporary, Turin
An eponymous publication was produced in accord with the exhibition including interviews conducted by Melissa with:
Katharina Arndt, Caitlin Berrigan, Enrico Bertelli, Cudelice Brazelton, Caprice Crawford, David Desrimais, Christina Dimitriadis, Elizabeth Feder, Richard Hancock, Mathilde ter Heijne, Fabian Jentsch, Martha, Ubay Murillo, Michelle O’Brien, Katrin Plavcak, Marcello Pisu, Xandra Popescu, Mike Rea, L.J. Roberts, Felix Ruckert, J&K (Janne Schäfer & Kristine Agergaard), Dennis Schep, Alexander Skora, Marie Steckbauer, Rick Steckbauer, Julia Strebelow, Scott Stulen, DJ Zhao.
It is a fundament of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories. The
human mind invents classifications and pigeonholes facts; however, the living world exists on a continuum and defies categorization in all it’s aspects. The biography of American sexologist, Alfred Kinsey is an important point of reference for Melissa Steckbauer. Housed within his groundbreaking research facility, the Kinsey Institute, is a photography collection containing more than eighty thousand prints and negatives, dating from the 1850s to the present. Kinsey’s research represents a source of sexological information, data, stories, and pictures for this artist who investigates and explores the dimensions in which human nature reveals itself in a free and uncontrolled way, that is to say, intimacy defined by sexuality and eroticism, including the world of the senses. Expanding on Kinsey’s field of analysis and investigation, Steckbauer continues to explore intimacy by different but complementary means, following direct and indirect pathways, including physical-perceptual and abstract-symbolic values.
Central to Steckbauer’s biography was her early dive into the world of postmodern
sexological communities. Within various niche circles she was seeking to experience
the periphery of socio-sexual contact; exploring shame and fear as they relate to power
exchange, intimacy, and liberty; and overall, questioning ethical legitimation at the periphery. Questions of sex, the body, social hierarchies, interpersonal-relationships,
power, and intimacy are the central tenets of her work.