Duskdust

(book)

Summary

Duskdust is an artist book by Susanne Kriemann, which takes as its starting point the former industrial site of limestone mining at Furilden peninsula on the northeastern coast of Gotland, Sweden’s biggest island. It is informed by the artist’s ongoing preoccupation with photography, labor, and archeology and includes photographs taken during her residencies and site visits, archival material as well as text contributions by invited authors. Writer Kirsty Bell traveled to Gotland to follow the artist’s research trails while media theorist Jussi Parikka situates Kriemann’s artistic approach within current discourse on geology and media. Maria Barnas wrote a poem based on Kriemann’s walk through a tunnel at the industrial site. Livia Paldi, director of BAC – Baltic Art Center in Visby, Sweden gives an introduction to The Site Residency program and the specificities of selected sites in relationship to Kriemann’s work.

Pechblende

(exhibition, book)

Summary

Bringing together an assemblage of archival materials, photo documents, literature and found objects, Pechblende investigates concepts of scale, proximity and distance in relation to radioactivity and the body.
Centred on the mineral Pechblende (the German word for a type of uraninite), the work traces a history of scientific and photographic processes narrated through the interconnected sites of laboratory, archive, museum and mine. Highly radioactive and uranium rich, pitchblende was relentlessly mined in the Ore Mountains of the former German Democratic Republic between 1946 and 1989, ultimately facilitating nuclear armament in the USSR. Despite the toxicity of the mines, and the documented health threats to the miners who worked there, the landscape of the Ore Mountains is now under way to being transformed into a tranquil mountain vista, with few recognizable traces of the still-radiating industrial worksites.

Concerned with both the literal and the political invisibility of radioactivity, Kriemann worked with scientists at the American Museum of Natural History (New York), the National Archives (Washington) and the Museum of Natural History (Berlin) to produce various versions of an “autoradiograph”–a unique type of photograph that is the result of directly exposing light-sensitive paper to the pitchblende specimens. This cameraless exposure results in an indexical but highly abstract image, one that is haunted by impressions of the iconic nuclear mushroom cloud and its blinding light.

Pechblende (Prologue) was exhibited at Prefix ICA in Toronto from 4th of February till 3rd of March 2016.

Pechblende (Capter 1)  is on view at Schering Stiftung Berlin from 18th of March till 5th of June 2016.

Etc.

P(ech)B(lende) - Library for Radioactive Afterlife

Ruda

(tapestry, assembly, source)

Summary

Ruda

Executed for NADEZHDA, an official side project of the Moscow Biennial and designed by Yu-Yeon Cho Ruda is a mohair woven tapestry – a sketch for a future relief for Magnitogorsk on the Ural River in Russia. Magnitogorsk means the city by the magnetic mountain. The city was a part of Stalin’s first five-year plan to outdo his Western counterparts in the iron and steel industry. The tapestry depicts multiple fragmented images from the early 20th century as a projection onto the mountainous landscape. Soft greys and blacks made of multiple strands of soft coloured threads give structure and texture but never a clear image of the once existing mountain depleted of its natural mineral. One can make out the Russian word Ruda meaning iron ore in relief-like lettering. On closer inspection an iron miner from the mosaic of the Palace of Culture by Boris Klotchkov appears. Rocky scenery collides with the High Renaissance landscape of Raphael’s Alba Madonna (1510) from an aerial perspective. Known as the “Madonna of Humility” due to her positioning seated on the ground, Alba Madonna was once a part of the Hermitage’s art collection in St. Petersburg. Stalin sold the devotional painting for 1,7 million to Andrew W. Mellon.[1] The steel mills were modelled after the US steel company plant in Gary, Indiana. The operating mining steel town producing 13 million tons of crude steel and 12,2 million tons of commercial steel products yearly[2] is an ecological disaster zone. Magnitogorsk gives insight to industrialization and its radical take on life and work with an irrepressible enthusiasm for progress. Kriemann’s tapestry hangs dividing the space in the room. The loose threads at each end allow for both a continuation and an unfinished state. (A. v. Girsewald)

[1] The Alba Madonna by Raphael was the world’s most expensive sold painting in the early 1930’s. It paid for half of the construction of the Soviet dream city. Susan Buck-Morris, “Dreamworlds of Mass Culture”, in Dreamworlds and Catastrophe. The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000), 153.

[2] See Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (Магнитогорский металлургический комбинат), abbreviated at MMK: http://eng.mmk.ru/about/

Etc.

tapestry

One Book

(exhibition, salon & audiobook, assembly)

Summary

Presented on the evening of the opening of the exhibition Anabasis, Rituals of Homecoming, in the cellars of the Museum of Art Book in Łódź, amongst the old printing machines, Susanne Kriemann’s (book-making) performance was a concerto on a voice (performed or rather conducted by philosopher, Dieter Roelstraete who in his performative reading reflected upon the issues of reproducibility, ideas of migration and „homing devices”, transcribing notions of changing „place”, „locus”, „home” in relation to the technology of printing, reproduction, circulation of ideas in books and printed matter) and a labor (a simultaneous act of printing pages for a new one book and just ‘One Book’ (2009) on an old movable press which allowed the artist to print the word one on the book’s one hundred pages, then recycle each page to add the letters H-O-M-E, one per each twenty-five pages).

(Adam Budak)

In 2015, One Book was on view at homecomings: PROJECTIVE SPACE, Berlin. In early June this year a visit to the Animal Sound Archive of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde provided the setting for a sound salon recontextualizing Susanne Kriemann’s One Book (2009/2015) through an intervention by invited collaborator Cia Rinne and the re-reading of Dieter Roelstraete’s text “FLIGHT: A SINGLE SCATTERING OF THOUGHTS” alongside the playback of recorded bird calls and songs. With participants such as Dr. Karl Frommolt, head of the animal sound archive, Prof. Dr. Holger Schulze, professor in musicology at the University of Copenhagen as well as Rinne, a Finland-Swedish-born artist and poet based in Berlin, the salon projected and reflected on the reverberations found within sound and serial, cyclical readings of works in production.

As an outcome of this salon, Susanne Kriemann’s first audio book is available on http://sinkhole.audio/
Sinkhole is an online publishing project for audio recordings by artists. Newly commissioned sound and spoken-word works are presented alongside occasional archive material. Recordings are available for sale as downloadable MP3 files. The website is edited and published by James Langdon.

Etc.

exhibition

salon & audiobook

RAY

(radio-autography, exhibition, book, application)

Summary

In RAY (2013-2014) Susanne Kriemann examines a radioactive rock discovered in the Barringer Hill Mine in Llano, Texas, in the late 1800s. We see a photograph of a large rock (a single chunk of gadolinite), and then another image of a wall of rocks, signalling the importance of the threshold to Kriemann’s work. She focuses on the material and mystical limit of knowing and seeing on how a narrative loops through archaeological layers without ever finding its source. Presently, the mine lies beneath a lake; its mirrored surface resembles the photographic lens, but the eye, ours and the rock’s, exists on both sides.

Etc.

Radio-autographs

Het Licht

(newspaper, photowork, poster)

Summary

In Het Licht (2011-2012), Susanne Kriemann deals with the disappearance of a specific site: the Art Deco building ‘Het Licht’ (The Light), a former newspaper printing workshop in Ghent. Photographing the building in a state of abandoned decay a month before its demolition, Kriemann allows her subject’s physical dissolution to reverberate through an ‘aesthetics of ephemerality’, capturing ‘The Light’ through the light of past moments.

Etc.

newspaper

photo work

poster

277569

(publication, photowork)

Summary

The work entitled 277569 (2011-2012) consists of aerial photographs taken by Kriemann in 2012 while flying over the south of Berlin in a helicopter. The title reflects the number of airlift flights undertaken during the blockade of Berlin in 1948/49. Barely revealing any details, the 6 x 6 slides show tiny segments of an endless expanse of forest, with the paths that cut through it lending the motif the appearance of an abstract composition due to the lack of sharply defined points of focus. Preceding the photographs is a drawing based on the path of a reconnaissance flight that took place in 1947, also to the south of Berlin. Indicated are the points where photographs were taken en route; the numbers correspond to the specific photographs found in the National Archive II in Washington DC, a portion of which Kriemann was able to view. Such images belong to an immense collection of some six million photographs, an archive of aerial photographs taken during flights over the official air corridor between West Berlin and West Germany during the Cold War.

Etc.

publication

Gestein

(publication, photowork)

Summary

The photographs ‘Gestein I – V’ (2011) are part of Kriemann’s ongoing interest in blurring the boundaries between abstract and representational imagery – the quarry’s haggard rock faces resembles the stacks of dusty books Kriemann so often encounters in her various archival explorations (the book itself could be singled out as one of Kriemann’s favorite media), but observed at closer rage they also invoke memories of American abstract painting. The truly haunting presence, however, is that Albert Renger-Patzsch (German, 1897 – 1966), the celebrated master of New Objective photography, who in 1966, the year of his death, photographed this very same quarry (the images were collected in the book ‘Gestein’). Kriemann’s images of layers of encrusted time enact the archaeological impulse at the heart of her working method, while simultaneously paying homage to the rigorous, quasi-scientific aesthetic of one of photography’s enduring icons.
 (Dieter Roelstraete)

Etc.

Yellow

(photowork)

Summary

In ‘Yellow I, II’ (2011) the biological decomposition of organic material is contrasted with the dissolution of the subject in a poetic visual language. Crumbling dried flowers are just plain floral pulp, like the paper of photography. The principles of resolution and repetition run like a red thread through this work. In the exhibition, the image with the flowers is mirrored into the abstract yellow image. The mirroring appears and disappears while moving through the space.

Etc.

photowork

A silent crazy jungle under glass

(exhibition)

Summary

In the work A Silent Crazy Jungle Under Glass (2011 – 2014) Kriemann combines historical forms of abstraction with aspects of the archive, the latter being a topic that has been crucial for her for a long time. The most interesting question here concerns references to reality: in an archive they are highly desirable, in photography they are inevitable and in abstraction they are unwanted. Setting out from visual analogies between archives and abstraction a number of other questions are stimulated: do a lot of archives not lack the relation to everyday life, to reality? And thus, do they not turn into an epitome of the perfect abstract picture?
(Mousse Magazine, 2011)