Spaces and non-Spaces – Susanne Piotter

I know, I know. A long time has passed since my last artist report. I won’t come up with any excuses (which you’ll most likely not believe me anyways) and just start telling you about my latest studio visit instead.

Susanne Piotter and I first met at the Metropolitain Artfair in Vienna last year, where she trusted me enough to watch her booth during her lunch break (and I mean trusting in the sense of confiding enough in me not to tell bullshit to possible buyers). Anyways, half hour later, I was loaded with questions about her prints, which are comprised of deserted architecture and invasive insects. And seven months later, I finally made it to her studio in Berlin, where she gave me a fresh insight into her latest printing endeavors.

The tension between culture and nature, like abandoned industrial areas, run down monumental buildings and technically exploited landscapes, are the starting point for Susanne’s photographs. Armed with her camera at all times, Susanne captures deserted places and decayed sites, carving off details until she reaches the desired atmosphere of solitude and transience.

Layer after layer Susanne is continually breathing live and soul back into the left over architectural constructs, which serve as the backdrop for her monstrous moths and satiated caterpillars that are invading the sites like parasites.

Shabbiness, decay, rottenness, and destruction are the equipment for Susanne’s monochrome silkscreens, in which nature is claiming back what it once owned. In postproduction Susanne’s intention is not one of documenting the decay of the city, it is more about the staging, “which is investigating the dystopian potential of those places and dealing with their development and transience.”

In the end the viewer is left with the question of what comes after the abandonment, destruction and invasion of those places that are supposedly secure architectural structures? Should they give way for renewal and gentrification? Or do cities, and people respectively, need those “off-spaces” in order to understand the new?

Houses that are breaking up in its parts, windows that float loosely in the air, the floor that is left as the only fundament, are those elements that comprise Susanne’s latest set of 3D-prints. In the series “Ein Haus verschwindet”, which is a combination of inkjet prints and silkscreens, Susanne is leaving color solely to the pattern of the carpet and the composition solely to the disappearance of the house. Again, Susanne is capturing a sense of evanescence and volatility of buildings that lost their function as a shelter. The supposedly save structures of a home dismantle into black emptiness and uncertainty.


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