twelvethousand- sixhundredfifty

On Paper II 12650twelvethousand- sixhundredfifty


Artist's book by Susanne Kriemann, published in relation to her contribution to the 5th Berlin Biennial 2008 and on the occasion of On Paper, a special collaborative project between 5th Berlin Biennial for contemporary art and A Prior Magazine.

content 12650:

Andrea Wiarda

Laura Schleussner


A Reader’s Guide
Laura Schleussner

Susanne Kriemann
* 1972 in Erlangen, Germany, lives and works in Rotterdam (nl) and Berlin (g)

12 650 000
2008, 20 black-and-white photographs, framed, each 50 x 60 cm

Few will be acquainted with the mammoth, inert, and indestructible concrete thing (for lack of a better word) weighing 12,650,000 kilograms and located in Berlin’s Tempelhof district, despite it being registered as a historical landmark since 1995. Susanne Kriemann’s 12 650 000 addresses this Schwerbelastungskörper (heavy-load-testing structure) built in 1941 as part of Albert Speer’s plan for Berlin as “World Capital Germania” and in order to assess the weight-bearing capacity of the city’s sandy ground.
In nearly all her projects, Kriemann decodes buildings and other large structures as physical embodiments of ideology and forgotten meaning. She interrogates them with a view to their social suggestiveness in order to bring out the paradoxes they incorporate. 12 650 000 is no exception. Kriemann’s installation combines vintage photographs from 1941 of the half-finished structure with a range of contemporary photographs documenting the unveiling of the freshly renovated “concrete thing.” By juxtaposing appropriated historic image material with her own contemporary photographs, Kriemann brings into play conflicting notions of history, architecture, and memory. For who could have foreseen the absurdity of the simultaneous demolition of the Palast der Republik and renovation of the Schwerbelastungskörper? By means of its seemingly abstract title 12 650 000 and accompanying photographs, Susanne Kriemann’s installation interrogates the city’s unconscious and the ”weight” of history in post-unification Berlin. (On her contribution for the 5th Berlin Biennial, 2008)

‘Zuhandenheit’ [ready-to-hand]—a Heideggerian term used to explore the meaning and functionality of objects in relation toman/human beings—is activated throughout On Paper by making readable objects available to the visitors of the biennale; and by creating a tangible echo of the biennale works on paper. This ‘Zuhandenheit’ is not only grounded in the form of the project, but also in the content of the first part of On Paper: A Prior #17 (David Maljkovic, Daniel Knorr, Kristina Norman).

The second part of On Paper consists of six separate publications and limited editions conceived by Ahmet Öğüt , Kristina Norman, Manon de Boer, Susanne Kriemann, Cezary Bodzianowski and Paulina Olowska. Each of these editions forms a unique ‘object’ that, as paper, is tied to the dematerialized realm of conceptual art, but that also cannot be thought of outside its object status. As such they may be the quintessential ‘things that cast no shadow’, thus sounding a tangible echo of certain works at the biennial.