15. September - 30. October 2011
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai



Carolin Kropff’s creative practice is rooted in the pictorial traditions of painters such as Katz, Titian, and Goya. She graduated as a painter from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and the Staedelschule Frankfurt am Main. In her, work Kropff proves the most classical of all media -  painting  -  to be the perfect tool to demonstrate the paradox of the creative process, where articulated thought or concept seeks to become an image.  During this act, the image tends to escape, and the process itself becomes a walk between failure and success of realization. Her focus shifts between interest in the subject (object or a concept), analysis of the creative process, and tolerance of chance with emphasise on intuition.  In her paintings, Kropff demonstrates this process with pigment, which she sees as the primary building block in the process of materialization. Painting for Kropff is a materialised process rather than the achievement of a static image. 


Her photo collages are a junction in between. Their cut surface is a shortcut in the materialization process, a montage of realities. The works included in the show are part of a bigger body of work Kropff has been creating alongside her daily artistic practice over the past decade.



Carolin Kropff uses her photo collages to capture the multiple realities she sees in Dubai, the city that is constantly undergoing change and is being constructed in front of our eyes. The tools used are simple and understated - simple camera, common paper, scissors; method - a collage of chance and moment. Result - one expanded space, derived from multiple ones, simple and familiar, yet somewhat enhanced and tweaked by the observer. Merging of the fragments creates a layered image of construction sites, roads, and other familiar spaces where gaps are filled, overlayed or expanded with borrowed parts of the city. The complexity, the scale of human ambition, and the grandness are simplified, played with, and reduced to fantastic visions of measurable progress that is achieved by millions of working hands day by day in this city.


Following her FATA MORGANA series, Carolin Kropff makes us reflect once again on the privilege we have been given - living in an extraordinary city and experiencing UBER- Construction of Dubai.


Before her studies, Kropff worked in costume/stage design in the Stadttheater in Dortmund. She spent a few years in Madrid, where she dedicated her time to studying the works of Titian and Goya. She lives and works in Dubai since 2006.


Larissa Kolesnikova

UBER CONSTRUCTION was kindly supported by Goethe Institut Abu Dhabi.