11 July – 16 August 2018; 5 – 24 March 2019
Susanne Kriemann (b. 1972, Germany) is an artist and Professor for Artistic Photography at the University of Design in Karlsruhe, Germany. Kriemann’s research-based work investigates the medium of photography in the context of social history and archival practice. Recent solo exhibitions include Canopy, canopy at The Wattis Institute, San Francisco, United States (2018) and dyeing until the water runs clean, at the Kunstforum Baloise, Basel, Switzerland (2017). Her works have also been included in numerous international group shows such the 11th Shanghai Biennale, China (2016) and the 5th Berlin Biennale, Germany (2008).
Interested in chemical processes caused by human interference in nature, the practice of Susanne Kriemann unfolds slowly across extended periods of time. Splitting her residency into two parts, the first of which took place last August, the artist is conducting field research on the presence of (micro)plastics in the intertidal mangrove habitats of Singapore and the Riau Archipelago. Since the 1950s, plastic has become the chief material of industrial mass production due to its lightweight, durability, and low production costs. With a decomposition time of about 500 years, all plastic items ever produced are still extant on the planet. Through most disposal systems, they enter the oceans where ultraviolet light, heat, wind, and waves progressively reduce them to “mermaid tears”, pellet-shaped particles with a diameter of approximately five millimetres. Kriemann recently participated in a residency in Colombo, Sri Lanka to investigate similar habitats and will spend this final month re-examining and consolidating the gathered materials.
Regarding the world as a “recording system” of human-caused environmental predicaments, the artistic practice of Susanne Kriemann unfolds through research-based investigations that engage with analogue photographic processes, social history, and archival practices often employing camera-less procedures and topical materials. In the last few years, these preoccupations coalesced in a complex body of works that explore the invisible catastrophes and streaks of slow violence generated by radioactivity as well as the intersections of military technologies and post-war industrial developments.
In this talk, Kriemann will discuss Pechblende (German for pitchblende, a type of uraninite), her ongoing project that addresses the rehabilitation of contaminated grounds, and will expand on the extended notion of the photographic document in her work.
Susanne Kriemann (b. 1972, Germany) is an artist and Professor for Artistic Photography at the University of Art and Design in Karlsruhe, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include Canopy, canopy at The Wattis Institute, San Francisco, United States (2018) and Dyeing until the water runs clean, at the Kunstforum Baloise, Basel, Switzerland (2017). Her works have also included in numerous international group shows such as the 11th Shanghai Biennale, China (2016) and the 5th Berlin Biennale, Germany (2008), among many others. Together with artist and filmmaker Aleksander Komarov, she co-founded the artist-run initiative Air Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Image caption: Susanne Kriemann, In the Belly of the Whale, 2016, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, exhibition view. Courtesy the artist.