Laura Padgett has described the basic idea behind the precise choreography of the room sequence in the Palace of Arolsen as follows: “The guiding principle for all work is the idea of transparency. Transitions and passages, paths from inside to outside and vice versa, the way proportions are used, or the ratio of accessibility and inaccessibility.”
The tour through the Palace of Arolsen begins in the elongated space of the entrance area where the windows are hung with transparent gauze. On closer inspection, what looked like a partition actually turns out to be a light-permeable membrane. The grey-shaded shapes are not just shadows but the outlines of another location inside the palace which Laura Padgett photographed from different perspectives. This location is the gallery in the main building which is not accessible to the public. For this work, the motifs were put together from individual images and printed on cheesecloth, the contours of the columns and balustrades are only depicted in shadowy, schematic form.
In this way, impressions of non-public spaces are transposed to the exhibition area of the palace, such as relocations or displacements that partially lie on the brink of perceptibility. When Laura Padgett speaks of “Studies of the colour white in its different compositions” when referring to the curtains, it reveals to what extent the motif recedes behind a subtle play with its barely visible image. With that in mind, the piece becomes a record of fading visual memory.
Ludwig Seyfarth — Im Reich der Durchlässigkeit: Laura J. Padgetts Austellungsparcours im Schloss Arolsen
text copyright ©Ludwig Seyfarth, 2016
all photographs to be seen in the installation views copyright © Laura J. Padgett 2016-2021
Installation views of the work by Laura J. Padgett copyright ©Axel Schneider, 2016