FROM THE SERIES - champagner im keller - wenn du gehen musst willst du doch auch bleiben - bath in brilliant green - a little deeper than you thought
"Nina Röder's photographs always move in the in-between (...)." Sarah Frost, Berlin, 2016
Nina Röder's quest for the essence of what she depicts leads her to scratch at the surface of her subjects. Visually, this is communicated through distortion: veiling, hiding, overlapping or camouflaging the displayed form. The familiar contours of faces and bodies are variously cracked open and dissolved in order to place them in a new dialogue. The well-known traits of those around her, including her own mother, or her surroundings are expanded and completed. Through rejection of natural perception, the viewer is relearning the act of seeing.
We recognize here a variant of the artistic principle of "creation through destruction". Bodies, immersed in water, only reveal fragments of themselves. Nina Röder covers portraits with delicately crocheted doilies, switching individuality for anonymity in the blink of an eye. Another image shows a face "disfigured" by algae suspended before it. A figure wrapped in fabric is transformed into an abstract sculpture. But Röder deconstructs not only the norms of the form, but also of formality, of conventional expectations.
The difference between the object and the subject, between a "thing" and a living organism, seems abolished.
But this artistic act, in all its subversion, is not a brutal gesture. The paradox is shown in all its subtle facets: nonsensical, illogical, askew, risible, ambivalent. The shock preceding the destruction of the form is softened by the humour inherent in the photograph.
Is everything one? - And what is the meaning we can draw from this?
Text: A. Meyer / Clervaux - cité de l'image
English translation: N. Linden
Nina Röder (*1983) lives and works in Hamburg and Berlin (Germany). She studied Media Art and Design with a focus on photography at Bauhaus University in Weimar. She has been a Professor of photography at the University of Europe for Applied Sciences Hamburg since 2017. Along with her artistic activities, she holds a Ph.D. in the field of artistic research. Her photographs have been shown at international festivals and exhibitions, such as the GoaPhoto Festival in India, the European Month of Photography in Berlin or the Format Festival in Derby. Her artistic focus lies on exposing hidden and unconscious structures or mechanisms of biographical narratives. In her work, she combines aspects of theatre, stage and performance with photography.