Peles Empire, founded in 2005, is a collaborative work by Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff. Their intriguing name is borrowed from the Romanian castle ‘Peles’ (built between 1893 and 1913) whose architecture combines different features of classic European styles and in much the same way the duo adopt this mode in their work.
The ‘Empire’ started out in 2005 as Peles, the name of the salon that Stoever and Wolff hosted in the living room of the apartment that they shared in Frankfurt. A collaged, photographic reproduction of the Princess Bedroom at Peles formed a gilded backdrop to these weekly gatherings and played with the idea of shifting authenticity and the gain and loss of reproduction. On moving it to London they continue to invite artists to show their work in the space mirroring the layering of times and styles of the original castle.
The other part of their practice also uses the castle as source material but involves the methodical removal of the reproduction from the original and producing works on paper, ceramics and cement. Pushed and squeezed through manual reproduction, digital means and different forms of 2D and 3D stages, the works start copying themselves allowing the gap between one reproduction to the next to be explored.