11 July – 16 August 2018, and 1 March – 29 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 with nature like radioactivity and the afterlife of microplastic particles, the practice of Susanne Kriemann is premised on archival investigation, field research, and interdisciplinary collaborations. During her residency, Kriemann plans to conduct research on the maritime ecosystem of Singapore and Southeast Asia, focusing on the increasing presence of microplastics in intertidal mangrove habitats. Since the 1950s, plastic has become the chief material of industrial mass production by virtue of its lightweight, durability, and low production costs. With a decomposition time of about 500 years, all plastic items ever produced are still on the planet and, through most disposal systems, ultimately enter the oceans where ultraviolet light, heat, and the physical force of wind and waves progressively reduce them to “mermaid tears,” pellet-shaped particles with a diameter of approximately five millimetres. The artist aims to collaborate with non-governmental organisations, activists, and scholars to investigate the temporal and material dimensions of this phenomenon.
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.