• Gudrun Kemsa

  • Theodor-Koerner-Strasse 01, 2018
    C-Print, 86 x 198 cm.
  • Schadowstrasse 1, 2018
    C-Print, 86 x 198 cm.
  • Hafen 9
  • Sousse 2


Gudrun Kemsa, born in 1961 in Datteln, lives and works in Düsseldorf. From 1980 to 1990 she studied at the State Academy of Art in Düsseldorf with Karl Bobel and David Rabinowitch. In 1985 she became a master student. Since 2001 she is professor for "Moving Images and Photography" at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein in Krefeld.

Architecture plays a prominent role in Gudrun Kemsa's photography, from antiquity and sacred buildings to the very urban contemporary. She deals with subjects such as vaults and domes, windows and doors, underpasses and glass facades - the whole spectrum. At the same time, her images do not intend to be documentary, but rather momentary renderings of light, space and time, of the subjective sensations evoked by the motifs. And this especially because she often alienates the buildings through colored filters. The architecture is a memory moment that combines with emotional pictorial effects. The viewer understands how Gudrun Kemsa sees this section of the world and will, inevitably, compare his own inner (memory) images with the photographs. This results in the experience of aesthetic tension.

In her photographs as well as in the videos, the usual unity of space and time and narrative strands is suspended, so that her works constantly oscillate between poetry, imagination, fiction, irritation and melancholy. Figures are caught between memory and expectation, memory and foresight. There is actually no observation of reality, Gudrun Kemsa aims rather to question our habits of imagining reality. And she examines how we try to make clear to ourselves what is real. She is, as Martin Hochleitner has shown, deconstructing the reality of a situation, deconstructing it, as it were, in order to create a new pictorial reality.

(1) See Gudrun Kemsa's interview with Anna Gripp aug her website, www.kemsa.de

(2) See Martin Hochleitner: On the peripatetic gaze of Gudrun Kemsa, in: Gudrun Kemsa - Urban Stage, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg 2010.

When I wanted to photograph the buildings, there were always people standing in front of them.

Gudrun Kemsa, 2010s ©Quote, Gudrun Kemsa, 2020; Photo, Studio Kemsa



Museumsausstellungen (Auswahl)

RAUM IST PARTITUR, 26.09. - 08.11.2020, Künstlerforum Bonn

Einblick ‒ Ausblick, 01.08.-19.09.2020, Galerie Schloss Wiespach, Hallein, Österreich

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 25.01.-01.03.2020, Osthaus Museum Hagen

„1000 Wirklichkeiten - 100 Jahre GDL/DFA“, 9. - 13.10.2019, Haus der Photographie,
Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Gudrun Kemsa - Move In Time, 14.09.2019 - 26.10.2019, Kunsthalle im Kunsthaus Nexus, Saalfelden, Österreich

Moving Portraits, 20.07.2019 - 06.10.2019, Salzburg Museum Neue Residenz, Österreich

Gästezimmer: Subway, 04.05.2017 - 15.10.2017, Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen

Urban Stage, 11.10.2013 - 09.11.2013, Kunstverein Duisburg

Gudrun Kemsa - Urban Stage, 16.05.2013 - 07.07.2013, LVR-Rheinisches LandesMuseum Bonn

Intermezzo 2012 – Gudrun Kemsa. Urban Stage, 02.09.2012 – 07.10.2012, Kunstmuseum Ahlen

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

Urban Stage, 2011, Städtische Galerie Waldkraiburg