Gudrun Kemsa

  • Columbus Avenue 1 Potsdamer Straße 1
  • Burj Khalifa 3 Burj Khalifa 2
  • 2009, Color print, 86 x 198 cm
  • 2009, Color print, 86 x 198 cm
  • 2010, Color Print, 86 x 198 cm
  • 2010, Color Print, 86 x 198 cm

Gudrun Kemsa, born 1961 in Datteln, Germany, lives and works in Dusseldorf. From 1980 – 1990, she studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Dusseldorf (Art Academy Dusseldorf) with Karl Bobek and David Rabinowitch, receiving her M.A. in 1985. She has been a professor of "Bewegte Bilder und Fotografie" (Moving Images and Photography) at the Fachhochschule Niederrhein, Krefeld, Germany (College of Applied Sciences) since 2001.

Gudrun Kemsa says about her work, “The involvement with space and time stems from sculptural ideas and is always at the centre of my work. It was logical that video should, in the 90’s, join photography. Video, for me, is always an expression of the extension of space and time.” (1)

In Gudrun Kemsa’s photography, architecture plays a dominant role, from antiquities and sacred buildings to the very urban contemporary. She engages motifs like domes and cupolas, windows and doors, subways and glass façades – the entire gamut. Her images are in no way meant as documentation; rather, Gudrun Kemsa treats them as instances of representation of light and space and time – the subjective sensations evoked by these motifs, especially since she often distorts her buildings with colour filters and subsequent colour changes. The architectural setting, also an object of recollection, is merged with emotional pictorial effects. The beholder learns how Gudrun Kemsa sees this section of the world and will inevitably compare and contrast his own mental image with the photograph, experiencing aesthetic tension.

In both her photos and her videos, the common congruence of space, time and narrative structures is also suspended, to the effect that her work constantly shifts between poetry, imagination, fiction, irritation, and melancholy. Any figures are trapped between recollection and expectation, memory and foresight. There isn’t so much an observation of reality, but rather a questioning of the ways in which we imagine reality, what we think is real. She is, as Martin Hochleitner has pointed out, deconstructing the reality of a situation in order to create a new pictorial reality. (2)

(1) Gudrun Kemsa’s interview with Anna Gripp on her website, Martin Hochleitner: Zum peripatetischen Blick von Gudrun Kemsa, in: Gudrun Kemsa - Urban Stage, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg 2010

Gallery Exhibitions

nature: attitude, 08.03.2008 - 13.05.2008, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie nature: attitude

Moving Images, 02.09.2006 - 04.11.2006, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Moving Images

Zeitschnitt, 14.01.2006 - 14.03.2006, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Zeitschnitt

Museum Exhibitions

Gästezimmer: Subway, May 04, 2017 - Oct. 15, 2017, Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen

Urban Stage, Oct. 11, 2013 - Nov. 09, 2013, Kunstverein Duisburg

Gudrun Kemsa - Urban Stage, May 16, 2013 - July 07, 2013, LVR-Rheinisches LandesMuseum Bonn

Intermezzo 2012 – Gudrun Kemsa. Urban Stage, Sep. 02, 2012 – Oct. 07, 2012, Kunstmuseum Ahlen

Urban Stage, 2011, Kunstverein IngolstadtUrban Stage, 2011, Kunstverein Freunde Aktueller Kunst, Zwickau

Urban Stage, 2011, Städtische Galerie Waldkraiburg