Souvenir from the Empire of Fantasy
 - about the works of Evelyn Kopp

Step right up, step right up! Come on in and experience the world of fantasy! Let yourself be taken away to the sheltered rooms of our society, to the tropical paradise of “Koppa Cabana“, the art room “Kopp Medley“ or to the cinema “Koppcorn“. Fly with the “Helikoppter“ to the Wild West, to “Sheriff Spingler and Cowboy Kopp“. Go visit the new  “Naturkundemuseum Spingler-Kopp“ (“Spingler-Kopp Natural History Museum”) with your family. Where the letters K O P P appear, your dreams become reality!

Seduction is the communicative strategy in Evelyn Kopp‘s artistic works. A cinema shaped like a colossal koppcornbag tempts entry. A hut with a hammock invites us in equal measure. A gallery is turned into a fully functioning wild west bar, attracting visitors with beer.
Evelyn Kopp creates sensual rooms in which she ensnares and captures the observer. The attractions encourage feelings of curiosity, playfulness and challenge habits.  In the hammock the viewer can loll about as if at home in front of the television and watch the artist’s travel impressions in an infinite loop. The woodland path around the “Naturkundemuseum Spingler-Kopp“ encourages exploration and ends directly in the exhibition space. The red curtain which seeps out of a wooden hut labelled “Dodge City Sex-Kabine” makes you want look behind it. And next to a porn movie, the visitor is confronted by art.

While the gallery rooms in Evelyn Kopp’s exhibitions each follow a topic, there are thematically apt wax pictures of the artist hung up on the walls of the exhibition space. For example the series “Planet WW“ shows motifs from the wild west - WW for wild west - and was part of the exhibition „Sheriff Spingler and Cowboy Kopp“. Technically the “paintings“ made from coloured layers of wax are interchangeable: the titular object is scratched into the ground of wax and its contours are filled with coloured modelling clay. However the effect is very different according to the topic. On “Planet WW: Bottomo“ the wax surface resembles a map where the outline of a cowboy’s hip in duel comes out of. Whereas on “Planet WW: Moonshine“ the wax appears as splashed blood around the silhouette of a cattle’s cranium. Hence each work has its own character, anay of interpretation. Each work is an autonomous work of art, independent of the exhibition’s context.

Generally, a visit to Kopp’s world always ends with a purchase – a beer to cool down after a few steamy minutes in the sex cabin, a post card or a mug from the Naturkundemuseum Spingler-Kopp’s museum’s shop, or better still a Wild West widescreen format in wax. Big or small, you can find art for any budget.

But where does this kind of seduction lead to? What can the artist be aiming at?

It’s no coincidence that frequently the letters of her name appear in the titles of Evelyn Kopp’s works. Where the artist finds her name in that of items, she starts with her artistic work. This is rather an individual acquisition of reality, respectively a narcissistic projection, that is shown to the viewer – filtered through the small meshed net between the letters
K O P P. Just as when reading a novel, the seducee leaves his alleged reality and enters Kopp’s fantasy space. In the area of conflict between his or her experiences and those of the artist, which always clash on the basis of the topical guidelines, the aesthetic cognition begins: the artist’s interpretation collides with one’s own. Our own ideas hunt the ones of the artist. The associations confront each other. A diversity of perception, of interpretations and arguments without a final last point, fans out in front of us. Like travelling, it can be strenuous to deal with all the difference. However, like travelling, one gladly takes out of it a new, enriching experience.

Vera Herzog
Art Historian, Munich 2008