Lotte Reimann

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The current video installation by Lotte Reimann is the third part of a trilogy about identity, love, and desire. In the first video, “Hinterland” from 2020, photographs of powerlines and utility poles are shown, page by page, as if in a private photo album alongside repeated images of parts of female bodies, often depicted in light, feminine clothing that is soiled with cow dung. The photos are accompanied by an acoustic track of a conversation between Lotte Reimann and a male protagonist, who explains the routes and meanings of the power lines, as well as the peace he feels when he, together with women, smears his clothes with cow dung.

In the 2021 film, “Objects and People, female protagonists talk about their love of objects and what it is like to fall in love with an object, such as CDs or a tent. Amorous erotic relationships with things, according to the tenor of Reimann’s interlocutors, are barely understood by society, since love and sexuality are often only recognized as true emotions under the aspect of procreation. The conversation is visually underpinned with photos of objects from the internet, such as those found for sales and advertising purposes.

The third film, a work still in the process of completion, now revolves around the question of what desire is. This involves both asexuality and BDSM. In other words, people who have no drive to engage in sexual interactions and at the same time engage in subcultures that practice dominance and submission, playful punishment, and pleasurable pain or bondage. In Berlin, this subculture is historically located through the Institute for Sexual Science founded by Magnus Hirschfeld. In addition, the BDSM scene is politically active and visible.

Lotte Reimann – „Work-in-Progress“

The two-channel video installation is composed of photos from the internet showing erotically-staged parts of skin or hair, sensual shots of fruit or potted plants, and pictures advertising sexualized clothing. In addition, sequences by Eadweard Muybridge are cut into the film, such as a chronophotograph in which a female figure can be seen slapping a child lying on her knee on her bare buttocks. Reimann changed the color of these photos to emphasize their pictorial character and to defamiliarize the motifs. The snippets of conversation between Reimann and the interviewees revolve around anecdotes from their childhood, living out their own sexual desires and fantasies, and the connection between their own bodies, relaxation, and sexual practices. Birdsong and rippling water are also audible, both sounds that also encourage relaxation.

Reimann’s trilogy documents diverse sexual experiences that otherwise find little space in our heteronormative culture. As Reimann’s voice and her approachable way of asking questions are recognizable in the installation, her personal approach to the actors also becomes a way for the viewers to approach a possibly unknown subculture. The fetishizing and partially reductive content of the photographs opens up associative spaces through the juxtaposition and altered coloring that call attention to the diversity of identity, love, and desire. Reimann’s main concern with the trilogy is to critically question the ontology of Western dichotomies of body and mind and nature and culture.

Text: Dr. Silke Förschler

About Lotte Reimann:

Lotte Reimann (*she/none) is a queer artist researcher and teacher, currently based in Berlin, who studied at Bielefeld University of Appl. Sc., the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, and was a Jan van Eyck Academie fellow in Maastricht. Lotte works on conceptual photographic narratives about corporeality that subvert the colonial historical concept of the fetish — the view on the ‚others‘. In her* work found and own images, texts and sounds combine to create open narratives that oscillate between sociological research and artistic speculation. The relationships of humans to nonhumans, such as water, stones, plants, animals, and other things, are central to the investigations.

Lotte Reimann’s work has been exhibited in/acquired by international venues such as the MoMA library New York, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, De Appel, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Rencontres d’Arles, Museum Arnhem, Chelsea UAL, Museum Marta Herford, FOAM Amsterdam, and the Fotomuseum Rotterdam. She* was awarded the Krupp stipend ‘Contemporary German Photography’ in 2022 and the Dutch ‘C.o.C.A. Foundation Art Prize’ in 2016.

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Fresh A.I.R. #5 Online-Showcase

The Online-Showcase offers an opportunity to get an overview of the highly diverse projects of the fourth class of Fresh A.I.R. artists with their different kinds of media and aesthetics.

On view are video and photographic materials about the individual projects, each of which is accompanied by an explanatory text that aims to offer insights into the work’s aesthetic experience.

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