A habitat is a living space and Susanne Hegmann extends this term into the autobiographical for her installation in Schloss Biesdorf.
While one can perceive nature outside the windows, the opposite wall shows a piece of forest in photographic likeness (ASHLEY93). And although we are accustomed to granting photography immediacy and authenticity, even more so when it confronts us on a scale of 1 to 1, in this case it immediately becomes clear that we are only dealing with the dull reflection of a forest.
The large-scale photograph, mounted on canvas, shows in its strangely colourful black and white and in its clearly visible materiality, with obvious creases and folds, above all its ageing process, an artificiality far removed from the original, illusionistic and purely decorative intention, in other words: a pictorial object that above all displays its own temporality. In fact, the artist was able to get hold of the original material from a shop decoration during a stay in London almost 30 years ago and has preserved it almost in its entirety ever since. It is therefore a found object and a memento that only superficially shows the motif of a piece of woodland, but rather a trace of lived life, a natural transformation (the fading and yellowing of the photo through daylight) as well as an artistic one (in the material transformation, the cutting and the presentation).
The artist is dealing here with traces that accrue as if by themselves on the path of life (ZINK99), traces that are consciously preserved and traces that are only recorded afterwards, for which they must first be uncovered. This is a rather archaeological process that carefully removes layers, pushes aside what is superfluous and can bring to light what has been forgotten, buried and overlooked. It is a search for traces on the time axis. So that traces from three decades, from Münster, London and Costa Rica can be found here. "Time becomes space here."
SUSANNE HEGMANN graduated with a diploma in fine arts from the Kunstakademie Münster. In addition to her exhibition activities at home and abroad, various study visits (most recently 2014/16 artist in residence at Tyrone-Guthrie-Center, Monaghan, Ireland), she was spokesperson for the board of the German Artists' Association and delegate of the IGBK, as well as in the NRW Cultural Council from 2017 to 2020. Susanne Hegmann lives and works in Münster and Costa Rica.