Susanne Kriemann pursues a research-oriented approach in her projects: one of the central aspects of her creative work is the examination of archived documents, in particular those that have not been used or have fallen into oblivion. The found photographic material then serves as a starting point for her own images. Analogies in terms of either form or content result in multilayered associative frameworks that address both the origin of historical pictures, their preservation, and their reference to the present as well as the discrepancy between public and private history.
In A silent crazy jungle under glass (2011) Susanne Kriemann for the first time combines her own aerial photographs with archive material from the Cold War era that has never been shown before. The latter stems from the collection of the American aeronautic historian John Provan, whose archive includes around 175,000 digitalized negatives and countless aerial photographs of the inner German border area and air corridor. Kriemann compares images she took of the same area from a helicopter with the espionage photographs, which due to the flying ban were taken at a safe distance from the border: it is dense woodland, which as a nearly endless slide projection seems to metamorphose from a document into an abstract ornament.
The basis for the body of works Ashes and a broken brickwork of a logical theory (2010) being presented on the upper floor of the villa are historical photographs taken by the English crime writer Agatha Christie: from the 1930s to the 1950s, she accompanied her husband, the archeologist Max Mallowan, to excavations in former Mesopotamia as a photographer. Christie not only documented archeological finds for the British Museum but also the excavation sites and the Bedouins who were part of the excavation team. Following in Agatha Christie’s photographic footsteps, Kriemann traveled to several of the former settings in Syria and North Iraq to produce her own pictures—as repetitions. New contexts of meaning develop through the dialogue between her own photographs and historical documents, contexts that pose questions with respect to the preservation of history, the relationships between archeology and modernity, but also concerning political topography.
Susanne Kriemann (*1972 in Erlangen) lives in Berlin and Rotterdam.
Comprehensive solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted by the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2009), the Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam (2009), the Berlinische Galerie (2010), as well as the Kunsthalle Winterthur (2011).
The exhibition is being supported by:
Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Braunschweigische Landessparkasse,
Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur