Beate Gütschow

Schuldige Landschaft, 2017 / SL#2, SL#7

2800* Euro

Beate Gütschow (*1970 in Mainz, lives and works in Berlin) photographs landscapes with an analog mid-format camera. She then digitizes the photos and uses Photoshop to construct new landscapes from this material. The artist adopts their spatial and compositional structure from landscape painting.

Gütschow’s work Schuldige Landschaft created for The History Show makes reference to the Dutch painter Armando, who participated in the show Landschaftsbilder of the Kunstverein in 1989: “He called a landscape that witnessed an event a guilty landscape, for the most gruesome performances often take place in gorgeous nature.” (Armando) In his works, Armando translated landscapes into abstract drawings and non-representational paintings. In making recourse to the avant-gardes of the early 20th century, which were ostracized as “degenerate,” he understood them as political statements. Gütschow uses the landscape the way it appears in front of her camera: eight photographs, each showing a tree that conveys history. The lighting in the photos renders the landscape abstract, the tree trunks vaguely set themselves off from an impermeable background. This leads to a dwindling of the informational content, but the night scenes and the black backdrop do provide the viewer with initial visual indicators, with the title referring to an undefined guilt. The trees form an alley along the route to Gütschow’s studio in Berlin which is located behind the history park Ehemaliges Zellengefängnis Moabit in a former guardhouse. The building became sadly notorious when it was used from 1940 onwards as a Wehrmacht remand and police prison and later by the Gestapo to incarcerate the male resistance fighters of July 20, 1944. The trees shown by Gütschow belong to the prison grounds; they not only characterize the landscape, but also bear witness to what happened around them.

  • Exhibitions:
  • 2017
  • The History Show, Kunstverein in Hamburg (G)
    Prix Pictet Space, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (G)
  • 2016
  • The future will never arrive, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (G)
    MoCP at 40, Museum for Contemporary Photography, Chicago (G)
    Architektur im Bild, Kunsthaus Zürich (G)
  • 2015
  • Radikal Modern, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (G)
  • 2014
  • Die Zukunft fotografieren, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg (G)
  • 2012
  • Seduced by Art: Photography Past & Present, The National Gallery, London (G)
    After Photoshop – Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (G)
    Malerei in Fotografie. Strategien der Aneignung, Städel Museum, Frankfurt (G)
    Lost Places: Orte der Photographie, Kunsthalle Hamburg (G)
    An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis (G)