2018 #27


by Martina Sauter

Martina’s latest project conjures up feelings of nostalgia as she draws on media from the 1960s and zeitgeist of its time.

In your new work there are numerous references to space; orbital diagrams, spherical planet shapes and floating items. Could you tell us a little more about the project?

I became interested in how the collective memory of my parents’ generation was informed by certain movies and magazines. I came across – and later decided to work with – a weekly magazine explaining the technical achievements of that era (between 1962 and 1972). Aside from coverage of the first moon landing, other articles focused on robotics, satellite techniques and photography. Graphics and diagrams were sometimes used to provide further explanation, so I started to isolate the parts I was visually interested in. I also looked at movies and music videos from this era, where stories and imagery often reference the technical achievements of the time.

There are also film stills of mathematical equations in this series. Is there a relationship between space and mathematics here?

The two are inherently interconnected; I also like the fact that an interesting looking equation doesn't necessarily have to be correct. In fact, they are too fragmented in my work to explain something concrete, but I do see a relationship between the two. I also compared these older stills with music videos and films dealing with the same topics but made within the last five years.

The interaction between different media is central to your practice. Why is this so important?

My work evolves from an interest in different things, processes and media, so bringing them all together is a natural result. I am always conscious to reveal the avenues where these sources of inspiration come from. In addition, I pay very close attention to the surfaces and inherent properties of the materials I work with. Collage thus represents a good way to reveal and highlight these characteristics.

Could you tell us a bit more about your interest in film stills?

In my work, I integrate film stills that viewers may well have already seen somewhere, but don't necessarily know when or where. There is a general association that people have with them because of how prevalent films are in society, but I don ́t want the viewer to recognise a certain film or series – but rather to trigger loose associations with something related they’ve seen before.

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Martina Sauter

Dusseldorf, DE

Martina Sauter

Martina Sauter

Dusseldorf, DE

Alluding to the language of cinema, Martina Sauter’s (b. 1974, Germany) examines how photography has informed our collective memory of the past. Her enigmatic subjects perform life in visual snippets, disappearing around doorways, constructed corners or into phone booths. Nostalgic compositions - manifested in her latest work in retro-futuristic, cut-and-paste collage - evoke a familiar feeling, oscillating between the fictitious and the real. Sauter studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf alongside Thomas Ruff. Her solo exhibitions have taken place in Foam Photography Museum, Kunstverein Konstanz and Kunstverein Bochum.

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