It takes billions of years for radioactive radiation to disappear. Until then it moves through minerals, bodies, and plants. Susanne Kriemann’s installation Canopy, Canopy draws parallels between the photographic process and how human activity is recorded in the material of the Earth. The fabrics are dyed with soil and plants gathered in Germany from around an abandoned uranium mine whose surroundings will be haunted by low-grade radiation for at least another 100,000 years. The plants are helping to slowly clean up the land, although they are themselves being poisoned in the process. Together with other materials from the site, these fabrics provide concrete evidence of the chemical and radiological violence from which it takes far more time to heal than human consciousness could possibly comprehend. The plant pigments change when they come in contact with sunlight, causing the colours of the fabrics to change over the course of the exhibition.
Susanne Kriemann (b.1972 in Erlangen, Germany) is an artist based in Berlin and Karlsruhe. Kriemann investigates the medium of photography in the context of social history and archival practice. With an extended notion of the photographic document, she reflects on the world as an analogue “recording system” for human-caused processes. Kriemann has exhibited internationally at CCA Wattis Institute (2018), 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016), 21er Haus (2013) and more. She has also created 16 artist books. Since 2017 Kriemann is professor at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.
Supported by ifa – Institut fűr Auslandsbeziehungen.
Silks, C-prints, plant-based materials, metal structure, lights
Courtesy the artist
Röda Sten Konsthall
Image: Susanne Kriemann, Canopy, Canopy, 2018. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler