The compelling narrative and composition of Karin Broker‘s photo-etching is created, at least in part, by collaging
other prints from a variety of historical sources. This image recycling has a rich past, as exemplified in the work of Max Ernst and Hannah Höch. Broker constructs her collage, in this case, as a starting point for her photo-etching, an increasingly accessible printmaking process that uses, among other things, hand drawn, collaged, and digitally created positive and negative transparencies. The web-based reproduction of Broker’s print presented on this blog does not convey the subtle color range in her etching ink, nor the image’s collage ancestry, specifically its physical construction and embossed lines where pieces of paper were glued down.
The narrative in this etching refers to life’s balancing act. A nude female torso wearing a dome as a hat sits in a chair; one leg of the chair teeters on a ball or globe balanced atop a trotting horse. The oblivious equine is about to receive a hot match or needle in the rear from a menacing hand. The patchwork sky and background made of scavenged engravings contrasts with a rather plain, contour drawing of a conventional country home in the image’s middle ground. Potential disaster dominates the scene.
The horse calmly sniffs a nettle in mid-trot. If the horse bucks or stutters, the armless, legless figure will come crashing down.
Along with this print the AP/RC has 95 additional prints and support materials including other images from Broker’s series, Notes of a Mad Girl, in which she combines collage and photo-etching.