artist / participant



press release

Katharina Sieverding. Art and Capital. Works from 1967 to 2017

"No image is conceivable without the entirety of all the images that are in the world." –Katharina Sieverding

Internationally recognised as a pioneer of unconventional visual strategies and an innovative media-led creative practice, Katharina Sieverding has revitalised the artistic potential of photography. She introduced the super-sized format as a key element of her exhibitions at a time when this was far from common practice. An assertion-turned-object, the large format manifests itself in space in the form of projections after experimentation with different sizes.

Sieverding’s serial photographic works give expression to reflections about identity, gender discourses and the necessary emancipation of the role of the female artist as well as about the current social, political and cultural climate. Her archive is a repository of recollections and knowledge. Mirroring the artist’s themes and subjective perception of current events, it conveys an image of the time.

Since the 1960s, using film and photography, Sieverding has employed her portrait with unparalleled consistency, often blowing it up it to monumental size and manipulating it in myriad ways. In the 1970s, with astonishing prescience, she began to develop her large-format multilayer montages on the state of the world, which were first presented to an international audience at documenta 6 in 1977. But the artist also addresses fundamental questions about art and the conditions of its production and reception. She investigates the relationship between individual and global structures as well as microscopic and macroscopic ones. Her creative practice not only reproduces the accelerated visual processes of the present, it also scrutinises them with a view to responsibility, not least her own.

Rein Wolfs: "For the past 50 years Katherina Sieverding's work raises many subjects that are radically contemporary, especially today. She deals with questions about the analogue and the digital, she focuses on gender issues, takes a perspective on global politics and persuades us to reflect on conditions of production."

The retrospective exhibition presents a survey of Katharina Sieverding’s serial photographic works from 1967 to today and is complemented by floor-to-ceiling projections that allow the artist to visualise the innovative power of her archive of images.

Curator: Susanne Kleine
Director: Rein Wolfs
Managing Director: Bernhard Spies