BLOOD

Natascha preparing one wall for the Blood series, Fotogalerie Wien, 2010

Natascha preparing one wall of ‘Bloody Suns’ for the Blood series, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, 2010

The ambivalence between the personal, historical and imaginary is what distinguishes Stellmach’s work. Julia G. Schneider, Von Hundert, 2007

Natascha Stellmach, Installation view (detail), Blood series, Wagner+Partner, Berlin, 2010

Installation view (detail), Blood series, Wagner+Partner, Berlin, 2010

This photographic series and installation narrates a story of displacement, migration and Zerrissenheit (being torn) from the 1940s to the 2000s, set between Germany and Australia. Informed by the prosaic form of the family saga – war, betrayal, murder and reconciliation – BLOOD is inspired by unspoken aspects of Stellmach’s family history.

Each of the 11 works are first created as works on paper with antique paper, albums, a typewriter and photographs that were either found or photographed by the artist. These are then cut, burnt or meticulously manipulated. Following this, a scanner (both a ghostly and interrogative light source), gleans the collage to create a singular photo work.  These intense narrative collages illustrate the blurring of memory, fact and fiction that is often associated with repression. Their effect is to invite us to investigate the relationship to our own Geschichte (history + story).

The series begins with a super-imposed self-portrait of the artist, reminding us of the power we have to address our histories. As an installation, Stellmach’s black humour cuts through the intensity, situating the works on walls with ‘Bloody Suns’ made from Christmas baubles filled with fake blood. The series first appeared in an earlier form in the artist book, The Book of Back.

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 1, 2013, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 1 (self portrait), 2013, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 2, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 2, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Stellmach’s photography is as vivid as the prose she incorporates into or alongside her imagery, which appears found as if she peeled them from a family album or perhaps even the street. Celina Lunsford, Artistic Director Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 3, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 3, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 4, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 4, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

In Stellmach’s multifaceted, bold and provocative works she confronts the viewer with complex narratives in which she intertwines the personal with public, reality with fiction, and truth with dream. Barbara Auer, Director Kunstverein Ludwigshafen

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 5, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 5, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 6, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 6, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 7, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 7, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 8, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 8, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 9, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 9, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 10, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 10, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Blood No. 11, 2006–09, archival ink on photo rag, 42 x 59 cm

Blood No. 11, 2006–09, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

STELLMACH-Blood12_Schrank-2013

Blood No. 12, 2013, archival pigment print on photo rag, Ed 5, 42 x 59 cm

Natascha Stellmach, Installation view (detail): Blood series as part of Stellmach's Come Live in My Head, Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2010

Installation view (detail): Blood series as part of Stellmach’s solo exhibition, Come Live in My Head, Wagner+Partner Berlin, 2010

Natascha Stellmach, Installation view (detail), Blood, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, 2010

Installation view (detail), Blood, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, 2010

© Natascha Stellmach, Installation view (detail): The Book of Back, mixed media, artist book, Fotogalerie Wien, Austria, 2010

Installation view (detail): The Book of Back, mixed media, artist book, Fotogalerie Wien, Austria, 2010

Natascha Stellmach, Installation view (detail), Blood, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, 2010

Installation view (detail), Blood, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, 2010

INSTALLATION VIEWS
Wagner + Partner Berlin | Fotogalerie Wien Austria

SELECTED TEXTS
Neues Deutschland | Verletzung und Verdrängung – Review by Robert Meyer
Claudia Marion Stemberger | Identität I: Biografie | Fotogalerie Wien (Deutsch) & English
Celina Lunsford | It is Black in Here: Contre-Jour (English)
& Gegenlicht (Deutsch)
Amy Barrett-Lennard | It is Black in Here Foreword (English) & Vorwort (Deutsch)
von hundert | Nazi Girl im Kinderzimmer – Review by Julia G. Schneider (Deutsch)
Astrid Mania | Mise en Abyme, Natascha Stellmachs poetische Brechungen (Deutsch) & English