Begun that same year, the series Creation, Deterioration, Conservation continues the Swiss artist’s exploration of what is at stake in artistic creation that plays on the boundary between abstraction and materiality. This time, it is not International Klein Blue that serves as a link between the two poles, but a strange colour that recalls human skin tones. Like IKB, it is both abstract and tangible, singular and multiple, recognisable and indefinable because of the range of nuances and variations it offers. For Rosenkranz, skin is the first thing human beings are able to visually perceive of themselves, in the absence of a mirror. It is the body’s first visual mark in space. So the artist decided to make it into a tool for exploring space and other bodies. She chose to work with digital prints of representative works from the Venetian pictorial tradition like the Procession in St. Mark’s Square by Gentile Bellini, which she renders almost unrecognisable by applying this colouring to their surface. This chromatic play symbolically connects the human body with the body of the painting and that of the medium: skin against skin, just as the installation Our Product aimed to achieve in the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Creation, Deterioration, Conservation (Holis), 2017, operates according to the same logic, while highlighting the artificial character of that “acrylic skin”. Similarly to other paintings in the series, Holis refers to nothing but an artificial substance imagined by the artist. What counts is not the viewer’s ability to identify its chemical reference, but rather the symbolic process set in motion. From an ontological point of view, this substance represents skin itself, isolated as an image between two sheets of plexiglas, for the purpose of conservation.
In an almost holistic vision of the world, Rosenkranz projects the body—whether iconic or human—into a perpetual transformation, between creation, deterioration and conservation.