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Chris Bierl – Graben
Location: EMDE GALLERY - Mainz
Chris Bierl – Graben
Emde Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Berlin-based artist Chris Bierl from October 13th.
Chris Bierl's work, which encompasses photography, installation and video, deals intensively with the relationship between people and landscape.
His photographs are often taken on the road, on journeys to distant, remote regions of the earth. His exhibition at Emde Gallery features works from the photographic series "A One Storied Country". In 2017, 2018 and 2020, the artist spent several weeks with his camera exploring the region of the Techa River, a river in Russia, east of the Ural Mountains. It became known for its radioactive contamination after the third largest nuclear disaster after Chernobyl and Fukushima occurred in 1957 at the Mayak nuclear power plant near the town of Kyshtym, contaminating the river and its surroundings.
His photographic investigation led Chris Bierl to numerous other places in the region marked by heavy industry and environmental pollution. In his mainly large-format colour photographs, for example, he deals with the current appearance of the town of Karabash, which is dominated by a copper-processing plant that has brought work to the people living there, but has also systematically destroyed the region's nature.
In his large-format landscape motifs, Chris Bierl brings to the fore the devastating effects of the Anthropocene, the impacts and changes that have occurred due to human intervention in nature, and thus also raises the question of man's responsibility towards the landscape. In doing so, his photographic images reveal a central contradiction: on the one hand, they show a landscape thoroughly destroyed by man; on the other hand, the artist captures the depiction of destruction, even ugliness, in an aesthetically successful composition - an ambivalence that runs like a red thread through his photography. This gives his works a complexity that only becomes apparent after prolonged viewing.
A selection of the group of works "A One Storied Country", accompanied by a comprehensive publication of the same name, was shown in his solo exhibition "Mutual Adaption" at the Kallmann Museum Ismaning in 2022 and in the group exhibition "9:9:2" at KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Studio 8 Berlin.
Chris Bierl (born 1980) lives and works in Berlin. Works by the artist have been shown in numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. He has been awarded several prizes, most recently the prestigious Kallmann Prize 2021. Scholarships have taken him to Japan, France and Mongolia, among other places.
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