Prof. Susanne Kriemann
Susanne Kriemann (born 1972 in Erlangen, Germany) is an artist and university professor at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.
Within her research-based work, Kriemann investigates the medium of photography in the context of social history and archival practice. With an extended notion of the photographic document, she has most recently reflected on the world as an analogue “recording system” for human-caused processes. This has lead to preoccupations with radioactivity and mining, but also with archaeology and landmarks in previous works as well as to a media archeological interest in photography and connections that can be made to a history of military technology.
After completing her studies at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart in 1997, where she studied under Joseph Kosuth and Joan Jonas, Kriemann enrolled in the Programme de recherche at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2000. Besides having exhibited her work internationally in cities including Basel, Toronto, Shanghai, Vienna, Vancouver, Paris, and Rotterdam, the artist has also created sixteen artist’s books as multiples since 1998. She has taken part in various artist residency programs, including in Moscow, Stockholm, Cairo, and Vienna. From 2013 to 2017, she was an advisor at Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht. Together with Aleksander Komarov, she is one of the cofounders of the artist-run initiative AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz. The artist is represented by the galleries Wilfried Lentz and RaebervonStenglin (2009–16).
Susanne Kriemann lives and works in Berlin and Karlsruhe.
Susanne Kriemann introduces her work ‘Pechblende - Library for Radioactive Afterlife’, reflecting on the properties of the radioactive mineral pitchblende and its instable occurrences in museum collections, former mining grounds, plants and objects of all kinds.
She emphasizes on the slow violent afterlife of radioactive pollution and her means of engaging with such topics as artist and researcher.
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 (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 former German Democratic Republic between 1946 and 1989,
ultimately facilitating nuclear armament in the USSR. Despite the toxicity of the former
mines, the landscape of the Ore Mountains is now under way to being transformed into a
tranquil mountain vista.
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”. 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.