November 21, 2010 - Berlinische Galerie - Susanne Kriemann: GASAG Art Prize 2010
November 21, 2010

Susanne Kriemann: GASAG Art Prize 2010

Susanne Kriemann, “Ashes and broken brickwork of a logical theory (graves)” 2010.*

Susanne Kriemann
GASAG Art Prize 2010 in the Berlinische Galerie

30 October 2010 – 31 January 2011

Landesmuseum für
Moderne Kunst, Fotografie
und Architektur
Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
10969 Berlin

www.berlinischegalerie.de

Susanne Kriemann’s latest work “Ashes and broken brickwork of a logical theory” combines historical material found in archives with her own photographs to create an installation. Its parts are interconnected not only in terms of content; they also enter into a relation with the exhibition space by means of subtle architectural interventions.

In search of photographs of the desert, among other things, the artist came across some photos taken by Agatha Christie (1890-1976). The well-known crime author accompanied her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan (1904-1978), on digs in Mesopotamia during the 1930s and 1950s, and documented these contracted by the British Museum. Together with four aerial views of the excavations in Mesopotamia taken by an unknown photographer, also dating from the 1930s, Christie’s photos are supplemented by Susanne Kriemann’s own photos of a trip to Syria, so representing a search for the links between archaeology and modernity. In the exhibition, the historical photos are presented in a particular way. Christie’s photos of Bedouin helpers on the dig are mounted on a console by the wall, while the four aerial shots from the archive of the Institute Français de Proche Orient are shown on tables set out in the room.

Another part of the exhibition brings together eight photographs in which the inner book and brown linen cover of an edition of the publication Digging up the past (1930) by archaeologist Leonard Woolley are shown in constant variations. On the one hand they refer to Woolley’s ideas regarding the exemplary nature of Asia Minor’s ancient cultures for the formal language of modernity, and on the other hand to modern architecture’s construction method, which also points toward another series of photographs. Each of these black and white images shows a modernist building of the 1930s on Baghdad Street in the Syrian capital Damascus, situated on opposite sides of the street. In this sober documentary record of existing architecture, Susanne Kriemann cites the style-defining visual language of the artist couple Bernd and Hilla Becher. However, because the photos are taken both against and with the sun, the appearance of the almost identical buildings on opposite sides of the street appear different.

Echoing the reduced architectural elements of the modern buildings in her photographs of Baghdad Street, Susanne Kriemann makes an immediate intervention into the exhibition space, installing fluting on one side of the entrance hall and a concave support for the console against the opposite wall. In addition, she alters the room decisively by immersing it in different coloured lights; in this way, she makes the perceptual process into a direct theme of her work. The effect of the changing light, the colour value of which is neutralised by the eye after staying in one field for some time, causes the viewer to doubt not only his own perception, but also the authenticity of the colours in the photographs.

Born in 1972, Susanne Kriemann is the winner of the GASAG Art Prize 2010, which is being awarded for the first time in cooperation with the Berlinische Galerie. This prize will be awarded by the partners every two years to Berlin-based artists whose work explores the interface between art, science and technology. Susanne Kriemann convinced the jury with her research-intensive working method and her complex forms of representation.

A catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition, Kerber Verlag, ISBN 978-3-86678-466-6.

Press conference: 28.10. 11 am, opening: 29.10. 7 pm

Duration: 30.10.2010 – 31.01.2011
Venue: Berlinische Galerie
URL: www.berlinischegalerie.de

*Image above:
© Susanne Kriemann.
Courtesy of the artist, Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam and RaebervonStenglin Zurich.

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