(art historian and critic)



Gabriele Leidloff


When one thinks of all those sixties university campuses axially divided, humanities to the left sciences to the right, or vice versa, one begins to understand the arbitrary nature that has come to divide art and science.  An artistic practice that seeks to reconcile what is a false dichotomy can only serve for the betterment of our current understanding of both art and science.  The work of Gabriele Leidloff does precisely this.  The artist foregrounds practical technological developments in neuro-science, more specifically perception and neurological legibility, and charges them with the energies of aesthetic experience.  Coming from a background in film and video, her more recent work elides the boundary between science and simulacra, between scientific exemplum and aesthetic imitation.  Her project l o g - i n / l o c k e d  o u t, a forum of art and neuroscience, takes the question of experiment, something shared by both the artist and the scientist, into radiography where sonography and CAT-scan techniques reveal less the substance of the body but the hallucinatory propensity or the outside seen from inside, images of redolence rather than of transparency.  Called Ugly Casting these works possess a creative paradox, in that they are neither ugly nor explicitly a cast, the latter infers ‘casting’ only as negative symmetry, the cast of the interstitial (the space in-between), or the space around the thing cast.  In the post-Roentgen world radio-photography has increasingly proffered a means of reconciliation for art and science.  Leidloff is part of an expanding family of artists who want to take things further.  The artist’s exhibition taking place at the Goethe Institut in August, 2004, Berlin, continues a collaborative and developmental process that intends to take issues worldwide by means of specific installations under the umbrella of the Goethe-Institut, but with a much wider remit and participation. Therefore the intention is to establish interactive connections (metaphorical synapses) between art and science institutions specialising not just in neuro-physiology, but at the same time, incorporating aesthetic concerns of generic perception, legibility and spatiality. In the inside-outside characteristics of neuroscience, the mapping of physiology and sensation, technology and aesthetics are brought face to face.  As the photograph, film and video, have passed from a mechanistic medium into a tool of aesthetic practice, so too the technologies of neuroscience have begun to develop a similar creative tendency.

The project l o g - i n / l o c k e d  o u t ( has as a result the possibility of being highly articulate and revealing, calling upon the interdisciplinary repositioning vis-a-vis art and science as it will continue to evolve in the future.



Gabriele Leidloff, “X-ray film-strip”, 2001