Judith Stenneken

Untitled #44 (Dancer in ‘Air Base 1’), 2016

Archival pigment print on Hahnmuehle Paper

61 x 91cm

Edition 7 + 1 AP

For the most part, the series ‘a mountain is only a slow wave – part i’, by German artist Judith Stenneken captures a sense of immense beauty through the uncertain realms of refugee crisis photography. Stenneken therefore creates a perceptive world in her photography, characterised by constant renewal and shifting physical states. Together with this, Stenneken’s body of work successfully explores themes of civilisation, physical state and identity through a photographic lens.

This series explores in particular the lives of Syrian refugees in the now defunct Berlin Tempelhof airport in Germany. Subsequently, Templehof is characterised by layers of time, history and the people who pass through. Forced, essentially, into shedding their identities to adapt to a new culture and language becomes necessary for survival. Importantly for the artist, this constant state of renewal describes an alternate perception of the world, different from ours today.

She describes “it creates a world characterised by constant renewal and shifting physical states, from fixed to fluid to vaporous; a world where inside and outside merge, where rocks turn into water, identities are fluid and time collapses; its spaces and inhabitants mirroring the ever-shifting state of this world. It embarks on a quest not only for the awareness of change as a constant and the radical acceptance of it, but also the transformation such a different perception of the world could initiate both individually and socially.”