Katharina Meister's works irritate and disturb us, they trigger questions and are difficult to categorize. Time and place remain undefined and consequently one of the themes. Katharina Meister assembles her installations in old glass display cases or boxes thrown out by natural history collections, cases in which dead insects were once kept. The boxes display obvious traces of time. If we consider their former usage; it underlines the impression of transience. They stand for life and death and what remains of them. At the same time, the shape of the display case, its depth, facilitates a picture space of its own. New spaces develop becoming a theme and, although apparently incongruous, being brought together. Paper cut-outs, drawings and sculptural elements, often found objects – some of them old and already rather weathered – are grouped in the picture space. We can find references to the past, the present and the future, and to interior and exterior space, but their interrelations are not immediately clear: they call for intense debate and investigation.
The silhouettes of trees and plants cut out of black paper occupy a key position in Katharina Meister’s work, and yet her works are not romantic landscape images. Katharina Meister is concerned with humanity’s overall dealings with nature and the possible consequences of climate change caused by man: floods and devastation, fires, catastrophes, polluted lakes or soil. She investigates the question of conceivable future forms of life. All this is not visible at first glance but revealed upon closer examination, just as the changes in nature are often not perceived immediately.