Press Release

First room

Bitterfeld, 2016
polyester, aluminum, silver nitrate, lacquer
each 230 x 140 cm

This series of black epoxy reliefs was made from the imprint of leaves, stones, twigs, bark, berries, nuts and flowers collected around the Silbersee in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, which was the most chemically polluted area in Germany by the 1990s due to the contamination from the adjacent industries and the AGFA-ORWO film factory over a long time. Today's vegetation still carries the diluted sediments of these former contaminations. The reliefs are finished individually with an applied silver nitrate solution that reacts to oxygen and light and that transforms them into oversized three-dimensional abstract photographic plates, speculating on the possibility of a photosensitive landscape that registers all past and future memories of the fractured land.

Second room

Growing Older, Blacker, Deeper in Perpetual Night, 2016
photograms, glass
each 30 x 40 cm

The positive remains of the sprocket holes that were punched out of the filmstrips during the film production at Agfa-Orwo become negative sediments in these sliced photograms. They form both a notation and a geology of the monotonous labour that took place in darkness.

Third room

The Night Side, 2016
video HD, colour, sound
4’ 20”

“My life was the darkroom, and later when I am gone, there will be darkness again.” In the early 1990s, after German reunification, the large Agfa-Orwo factory complex in Wolfen- Bitterfeld stopped its production and was turned into a film- and industry museum overnight. The former halls, where photosensitive materials had been produced constantly in cold and almost complete darkness, in long shifts by female workers, were illuminated and the machines transformed into obsolete objects on display. The womens’ work had been structured around the absence of sight: the orientation in the production spaces was largely determined by an embodied and haptic memory, by patterns of repetition and aural signals. In The Night Side, the hands of Gundula Brett, former worker in the darkrooms of Agfa-Orwo for over 25 years, revisit the machine’s surfaces and notches, forever inscribed in her own body.