State of Change
Saturday, 7 May | 11.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.
'Ice floes piled up into bizarre formations are reflected in the water. Gnarled tree shapes are reflected back in a lake. In Karen Irmer's photographic works of the series "State of Change" we encounter natural spaces of high atmospheric intensity. Mystical, mysterious, sometimes threatening, the upright-format sceneries appear. But only at first glance do we think that we are looking at a real image of reality. We quickly get the feeling that something is not right in these pictures. Guided by our need for orientation, we examine the photographs for their truth content in order to finally unmask the incongruence of perception and reality. The life-size works unite these contradictory poles through their aesthetics and derive their special tension from this. Irmer's works repeatedly cause irritation and question patterns of perception. This play with our perception runs like a thread through the artist's oeuvre. At this year's DFA Spring Conference, the artist will present this complex of works and also address an expanded form of photography that explores projection and other techniques of reproduction as possibilities.'
Karen Irmer became known for her work that breaks down the boundaries between film and photography. Observant, the artist investigates places that she transforms into new, different and extremely atmospheric worlds simply through her choice of angle and the way she shoots them. The artistic intention is not an obviously political one, yet her intense works, which always include the natural space, can also always be read as an appeal to be mindful of the available resources. Her careful, slow, meditative approach to her subject is already evident in her journey - Irmer travels by train and ship whenever possible, avoiding the fast and polluting travel by plane. In search of image and film material, the artist thus travels to Arctic regions and remote islands. She hikes in uninhabited and barren areas to find inspiration for her artistic work. Soon, this urge to explore will take her to the Nordic Arts Center in Dale, Northern Norway, for two months.
Irmer's exhibition list is equally international. In addition to solo presentations in Munich - for example at 'Kino der Kunst', as part of Photoweekend Düsseldorf and in Berlin, she was represented at 'Scope Basel', 'Freshpaint Contemporary' Tel Aviv, in Amsterdam as well as in the USA. From 2015-2017, Irmer taught as part of the Dorothea Erxleben Programme at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig.