Susa Templin who lives in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main, works with photography and three-dimensional spatial models, a concept that she concretized during her studio fellowship in New York and has since developed further.
From her analogue work with photographic images and the resulting models, she develops large walk-in installations, such as for the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Kunsthalle Nürnberg or the Berlinische Galerie.
Her works always question the flat image and create new spaces in a variety of ways and sizes.
In addition to numerous international exhibitions, lectures and teaching activities, Templin has also received various art projects in construction, for example for the Frankfurt University Hospital and the Ministry of Finance in Wiesbaden.
Her extensive archive of photographs of room fragments – a corner of a room, a piece of curtain, a certain door situation – always analogously photographed and processed in her own laboratory – Templin uses for new, atmospherically dense room designs. With the technical possibilities of photography and installation, the artist realizes subjective qualities of architecture and spaces.
A temporary union between single, double, and triple exposures and the distance between the camera and the color filters in the darkroom. This series of photographs were taken throughout an afternoon in a room in front of a single window.
The artist observed the sinking sun, the migration of the window grid’s shadow on the curtains, and with it the changing color of the afternoon light until sunset.
Susa Templin took this interplay of shadow, light, and time as an opportunity to investigate the photographic possibilities in the darkroom and the act of photographing. She moved the camera 20 cm closer to her subject, the window, and the curtains, after each picture, thereby slowly closing the gap between the object and lens. In addition, the exposure mode is constantly adapted: from a single image to double exposure to triple exposure. Time and space overlap more and more in each photograph, in each negative.
The image was further altered in the darkroom as the shades present in the images are concocted by increasing the density of the color filters Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan. Each unique print has its own mix of color values creating the effect of ‘light colors’, as real colors, as colors of the afternoon.
Susa Templin’s series Gartenstrasse 12 – 18h is part of the collection of Städelmuseum in Frankfurt and is currently on display.
In her series Sites & Construction, Susa Templin explores the question of how spaces and memories permeate each other. Her photographic investigations lead to extensive installations. In the alternation of material and scale, models of paper and cardboard are created, which are photographed and further processed from different perspectives. They are independent sculptures and at the same time provide the motifs for further photographs.
The artist deals with images of memories that reappear in new compositions in spatial abstraction. Image by image and layer by layer, often by multiple exposures, the photographically captured space is deconstructed, distorted in perspective, and subjectively reassembled. Statics and perspective are suspended. Interior views become facades, exterior views become enigmatic interiors. The views distort optically and in reality in the folds of the folded picture walls.
Landscaping is a light installation that was made in the artist’s studio in New York. By using small plastic trees, the artist creates pieces of forest that develop a painterly effect in their coloring and spatial staggering. These models were photographed and inserted into the series in greatly enlarged form so that the realistic ‚playgrounds’ are juxtaposed with artificial miniature landscapes.
The light installation plays with a city dweller’s longing for nature. The extreme close-ups blur the background and give the impression of an unlimited forest. It is a play with proportions: toy trees proliferate monstrously, the viewer can lull himself into the dreamlike notion of being able to stay under trees. And it is a game with nature, the image of nature, our longing for it, and the idea we have of nature and landscape.
INDOORS LANDSCAPE, 2017, walk-in photo installation, Kunsthalle Mannheim, DE (permanent collection)
The winters on the Spree are cold, dark and mostly quite long. This was Susa Templin’s experience when she moved from New York to Berlin at the end of 2005. Shortly thereafter, when she received an invitation from the Berlinische Galerie to a solo exhibition, she responded to the winterly dreary city with a group of works created especially for the spatial situation of the museum. She called the cycle „Berlin Baroque,“ consisting of a large-format photo sculpture and a series of frameless photographs arranged in alternation of portrait and landscape format as a densely suspended, circumferential wall frieze. But the actual work began outside, in the cold space of the city: Here Susa Templin took photographs of typical Berlin apartment buildings, firewalls, and backyards and used them to build small architectural models in her studio. They reflect that urban dreariness, which then underwent a fulminant transformation in the further work process. Thus the artist brought the dismembered and newly assembled structures to life through the use of colorful tissue paper, glittering foil, and other hand, from which in the end – again photographed – plastic room collages of almost baroque appearance were created. This is not only due to the artistic intention to blur the boundaries between the genres of photography and sculpture beyond recognition. The cycle can be described as baroque above all because the trivial material is condensed into proliferating, moving, multi-perspective pictorial spaces of great visual splendor. The dominant feature here is an interplay of light and shadow, of razor-sharp and blurred parts of the picture, of shimmering paint and grey masonry, of architectural mass and organic uncontrolled growth, which triumphs over every attempt at spatial orientation in the narrow section of the picture. And this despite the fact that the tinkering character of the city fantasies, built in numerous variations, is never denied, but is clearly revealed through cut edges and other traces of processing. Susa Templin has supplemented these model photographs with a series of real interior photographs that she tracked down at night in Berlin’s urban space and which – mostly seen from the outside through large window panes – with their reflections and light effects unfold a similarly pompous effect. Well-dosdly integrated into the cycle, they tie back to reality, which the other works demonstrate by virtue of their illusion. Finally, the artist enlarged one of these photographs into an almost four-meter-high photographic sculpture that was mounted diagonally on the front wall of the exhibition space, from where it extended plastically to the floor. It formed the pivotal point of the spatial staging – and in its immediate, physical presence it illustrated what the entire image program of „Berlin Baroque“ is based on: a visionary proposal for the transformation of urban space, in which the limitations of the photographic medium are also lifted.
Dr. Stefan Rasche
since 2019 Lecturer for Analogue Photography at the HFG Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach, DE
1987 – 1993 Studied at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin and the State University of Fine Arts, the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Impositions, New Viewings – online exhibition platform, Gallery Barbara Thumm, Berlin, DE
Layers upon Layers, Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Durchblick, in conjunction with Lilly Lulay, Kunststiftung DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Das Licht, der Raum und die Zeit, Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, DE
Grundrisse, Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen, DE
Premises, Dorothée Nilsson Gallery, Berlin, DE
Das Licht, der Raum und die Zeit, Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Spatial Abstractions, AA Residency Exhibition, Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin, DE
Sites and Constructions, Dorothée Nilsson Gallery, Berlin, DE
Through the Backdoors to the Indoors, Photogallery |format| Malmö, SE
Room Service, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, DE
Rooms, Galerie Thomas Rehbein, Cologne, DE
Other voices, other rooms, Galerie Rasche Ripken, Berlin, DE
Real Estate, Reiss-Engelhorn Museums/ Zephyr, Mannheim, DE
Triangle of Need, Gallery Rasche Ripken, Berlin, DE
BerlinBaroque, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, DE
Indoors Landscapes – permanent installation, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, DE
Landscaping, NewmanPopiashvili Gallery, New York City, USA
Landscaping, Goethe Institute, Washington D.C., USA
Hermit – Temporary, Folkwang-Museum Essen, Essen, DE
Presenting the Suite 106, NewmanPopiashvili Gallery, New York City, USA
3 Feet 6 Inches Deep, AuBase Gallery New York City, DE
Fishtank, installation for EXPO 2000, Hanover, DE
Frankfurter Fotografinen, Historisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main, DE (upcoming)
Update. Highlights der Städtischen Kunstsammlung, Heussenstamm Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Zurück in die Gegenwart, Neue Perspektiven, neue Werken – die Sammlung von 1945 bis heute, Städel-Museum, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Entangled, Dorothée Nilsson Gallery, Berlin, DE
Women are still beautiful, Sammlung Freddy Langer, Museum Bensheim, Bensheim, DE
City-Projects, Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt am Main, DE
In weiter Ferne so nah, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, DE
Paris we miss you, Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Landscaping, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, DE
Room With A View, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund, DE
Realität Check, Collectors Collective Berlin, Kunstraum Potsdam, DE
Nullpunkt der Orientierung, DZ Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt/Main, DE
200 Jahre Städel – 200 Künstler, Galerie Perpetuel, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Indoors Landscape, walk-in photo installation, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, DE
The Fourth Dimension, Museum of Photography Braunschweig, DE
Back to the future of photography, DZ Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt/ Main, DE
You Cannot Do Nothing, with Sven Johne, Peter Fend, Kommunale Galerie Berlin, Berlin, DE
Home base: The Interior in the Present, Kai 10 Düsseldorf, DE
How should I know what she likes?, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, DE
Home base: The Interior in the Present, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nürnberg, DE
Silent Heroes, Essenheim Art Association, Essenheim, DE
About Color, with Thomas Werner and Hague Yang, Kunsthaus Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, DE
Winner Exhibition Welde Art Award, Stadtgalerie Mannheim, DE
The Window in View, DZ-Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Real Estate, Neuer Gießener Kunstverein, Gießen, DE
Keeping up Appearances, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, DE
More Songs about Buildings and Food, with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Newman Popiashvili Gallery, New York City, USA
White, black and a little sky blue, with H. Warmuth, Galerie Thomas Rehbein, Cologne, DE
Balmoral Blend, Arp Musem, Remagen, DE
More than the eye can see. Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Lima, PE
Museo de Artes Visuales, Colección Santa Cruz – Yaconi, Santiago de Chile, CL
Museo de Arte Moderna (MAM), São Paulo, BR
One Hundred Years Kunsthalle Mannheim, Kunsthalle Mannheim, DE
Contemporary Art Museum (MARCO), Monterrey, MX
Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City, MX
Museo del Banco de la República, Bogota, CO
Full House, Mannheim Art Gallery, Mannheim, DE
Urban Sequences, Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt, DE
Leuchtspur, in cooperation with the Museum für Moderne Kunst, with James Turrell, Joseph Kosuth, Dan Flavin, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Screen, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York City, USA
Architectural Constructs in Contemporary Photography, Julie Saul Gallery, New York City, USA
Flakk, or that extraordinary sensation of being abroad even when at home, curated by Andrea Kroksnes, The Nordens Hus, Reijkjavik, IS
New York, New York, Amerika-Haus in cooperation with the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Biennale de l’Image- Paris ’98 – solo presentation curated by Lewis Baltz, Paris, FR
Funding, Stiftung Kulturfonds, DE
Funding, Stiftung Kulturwerk der VG Bild-Kunst, DE
Funding for publications, Hessischen Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, DE
AAResidency, Scholarship des Auswärtigen Amtes und der Berliner Galerie, DE
Award of the Welde Art Prize for Photography selected by Luminita Sabau and Florian Ebner, DE
Bonn Art Fund, Catalogue, DE
Fermynwood Art Centre, Norfolk, UK
Studio Scholarship, OCA, Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo, SE
Scholarship of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz, Künstlerhaus Balmoral, DE
Scholarship of the Hessische Kulturstiftung (New York), DE
Scholarship of the State of Hessen, DE
Art Promotion Prize of the Frankfurt Artists’ Aid, DE
Städel Museum, Frankfurt, DE
Museum Folkwang, Essen, DE
Berlinische Galerie, Museum of Modern Art, Architecture and Photography, Berlin, DE
Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, DE
Deutsche Bank Art Gallery Berlin and Frankfurt/Main, DE
NBK, New Berlin Art Association, DE
DZ Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Michael Loulakis Collection, Berlin, DE
Art Collection of the Hessian Parliament, State of Hesse, DE
Hessian Cultural Foundation, Wiesbaden, DE
Mainschleife, temporary installation, Offenbach Police Headquarters, Offenbach/Main, DE
Room Reforms, temporary installation, Epiphaniaskirche, Frankfurt/Main, DE
Indoors Landscapes II, variable lightbox work, Michael Loulakis Collection, Berlin & Frankfurt, DE
Geometry in the Red Garden, wall work for the State of Hesse, University Hospitals Frankfurt/Main, DE
Landscaping, walk-in lightboxes Rooms, Collection Schaub, Ludwigshafen, DE
Green light photo sculptures, Dillenburg Police Headquarters, Hessen, DE
Surrogate Landscape, Allianz Insurance Art Collection, Hamburg, DE
Fishtank, temporary art at the building installation for Expo-Café, Hanover, DE
Cleaning, permanent photo installation for the Cabinet Hall of the State Parliament of Wiesbaden, State of Hessen, DE
Milk, four photo installations for the tax offices in Frankfurt/Main, State of Hessen, DE