Johanna Diehl explores the obscure recesses of collective cultural memory. She is interested in forms of the “overwriting of memory” and the “presence of absence”. In her photo series and films she negotiates the identity of contemporary Europe.
Johanna Diehl (b. 1977 in Hamburg/DE) studied fine art/photography at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig/DE, as well as at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris/FR (2000–2007) and as a master student (Meisterschülerin) at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig/DE (2010–2012). Diehl develops her practice from the idea that truth resides in the folds of memory. She explores what is hidden in the obscure and neglected recesses of our collective cultural memory. She is interested in forms of the overwriting of memory and the presence of what is absent. She negotiates the identity of contemporary Europe and the basis of built spaces and private archives. With each of her photographic series and film works Diehl raises new questions about conflict and identity in recent European history. In doing so she employs photographic means to explore the potential of not just documenting history but also writing it anew. Since 2019 Diehl has been professor of photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg. Diehl lives and works in Berlin.
Diehl‘s works have been exhibited among others at: Felix Nussbaum Haus, Osnabrück/DE (2020), Kunsthalle Göppingen/DE (2020); Haus am Waldsee, Berlin/DE (2019–2020); Mitte Museum Berlin/DE (2019–2020); Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg/DE (2019); UB Anderson Galley, Buffalo/US (2019); Deichtorhallen, Haus der Photographie, Hamburg/DE (2019); Kaunas Biennale/LT (2019); ZKM–Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe/DE (2018–2019); Guardini Stiftung, Berlin/DE (2018); Akademie der Künste Berlin/DE (2017); Villa Massimo, Rom/IT (2016); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich/DE (2016), Kunstverein Oldenburg/De (2015).
The following artworks will be shown as part of the EVROVIZION.CROSSING STORIES AND SPACES project:
Braclav, from the Ukraine Series, C-print, laminated, framed, 126 × 159 cm, Braclav/UA, 2013.
© Johanna Diehl
Johanna Diehl’s photographic work Braclav is part of the Ukraine Series (2013–2015). The series documents the appearance of former synagogues in Ukraine today. In 1941, German occupiers launched a genocide of the Jewish population that resulted in the destruction of their communities. As a result, when the country returned to Soviet communist control, former synagogues were converted to secular use. Some of these sacred places were turned into cinemas, sports halls and clubs that still exist today, while others are no longer used, have fallen into disrepair, or become ruins. In her artistic practice, Diehl sets off on an archaeological search, using her works to visualise the sacred remains of former religious sites. The architectural spaces she reveals subtly reflect religious dispossession and cultural annexation. Empty spaces within the collective cultural memory are explored, making visible overwritten memories and ‘the presence of the absent’.
Souskiou, Cyprus (South), C-print, laminated, framed, 95 × 122 cm, Souskiou/CY, 2009.
Karavas/Alsançak, Cyprus (North), C-print, laminated, framed, 95 × 122 cm, Karavas Alsançak/CY, 2009.
© Johanna Diehl
Johanna Diehl’s works Souskiou, Cyprus (South) and Karavas/Alsançak, Cyprus (North) are part of the Displace series (2009), whose creation was inspired by the 1974 partition of Cyprus. The partition of the island into the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus resulted in the forced resettlement of the population to facilitate ethnic and territorial separation. Johanna Diehl’s photographs document the consequences of this division. With the series’ title, she describes not only the process of expulsion, but also the process of replacement. Souskiou, Cyprus (South) shows the remains of a mosque in a deserted space on the Greek part of the island. Karavas/Alsançak, Cyprus (North) depicts a church in the Turkish part of the island that was converted into a mosque. Even if the cultural and religious identity of the former residents has been sup-pressed and superseded by territorial appropriation in each case, traces of the past continue to be visible.
These artworks are part of the ifa art collection.
Kunstpreis der Böttcherstraße in Bremen 2020
The Kunsthalle Bremen presents ten promising positions in contemporary art. Renowned curators such as Johan Holten, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Bettina Steinbrügge have nominated ten artists from German-speaking countries, whose works can be seen in an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bremen from August 29 to November 1, 2020. The nominees included also artists from the EVROVIZON project: Janine Jambere, Henrika Naumann and Nevin Aladag
Selma Selman - Risk Change
*In 2018, I was part of the third international interdisciplinary art exhibition Personal, as part of the project Risk Change for which I received the White Aphroid Award for my works Dangers of the Body, The Body in Danger, Viva la Vida We Who Are Dreaming of. As part of the Risk Change project, my work was a part of My Art Is My Reality exhibition at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka (CR), curated by Sanja Kojić Mladenov. The Risk Change project gives a chance for those artists who genuinely GIVE so much attempt for change of society while using art, technology, and mobility. Therefore, it allows us to think outside of the box and make sure that we can have a better future if you all respect those categorized as others. *Selma Selman
Emilija Škarnulytė at Kunsthaus Pasquart
EMILIJA ŠKARNULYTĖ – Sunken Cities at Kunsthaus Pasquart, 3 July – 29 August With Sunken Cities (2021), Emilija Škarnulytė creates an immersive film environment in the Galeries, in which the different rooms function as a time-line. She produces the effect of total immersion in a multi-dimensional landscape in which our gaze is duplicated by the mirrored ceiling and we simultaneously become witnesses of a future, contemporary and past world. The artist opens the perspective with this black, reflective surface, allowing us to experience it as a visual horizon that looks like an ocean of liquid oil.
Nevin Aladag, Kunstforum, Bd. 262
Kunstforum, Bd. 262 Borderlines **Nevin Aladağ** Mustergültiges für unsere Zeit Ein Gespräch von Sabine Maria Schmidt Nevin Aladağ gehört aktuell zu den international gefragten Künstlerpositionen aus Deutschland. 1972 geboren im türkischen Van, ein Jahr später umgesiedelt nach Stuttgart, ausgebildet in München, ansässig in Berlin, steht sie für eine Position, die fern politischer Identitätsdebatten freie künstlerische Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten findet. In zahlreichen Werkserien untersucht sie die Kraft und den Erfindungsreichtum von kulturellen Transfers. Ihre Arbeiten handeln von Selbstbestimmung, Rollentausch, Fremdwahrnehmung und Multiperspektivität. Klischees und vorgeformtes Wissen werden grundlegend hinterfragt. Und sie nutzt die Poesie von Stimmen und Klängen, die sie unterschiedlichsten Körpern und selbstgebauten Instrumenten entlockt.