Beate Gütschow visits places of human-made natural disasters within weeks of the events. In long-term photographic studies, she develops antitheses that counter the conventional images of catastrophes spread by the media. Gütschow is also part of the climate justice movement, documenting activities such as occupations and demonstrations as a participant and chronicler.
Dystopian situations with people standing on the edge of an abyss, landscapes devoid of humans, and deserted villages—it takes a second look to realize that these photographs depict crowds of protesters, remains of civilization-related interventions after flood disasters, or traces of fires that have ravaged forests and landscapes. These events did not take place just anywhere on the globe in the past years; they all happened in Germany.
Within weeks of the events, Beate Gütschow visited these places. In long-term photographic studies, she develops antitheses that counter the conventional images of catastrophes spread by the media. Her images are quieter, encouraging an emotional and analytical response. Gütschow is also part of the climate justice movement, documenting activities such as occupations and demonstrations as a participant and chronicler—an insider’s perspective—and transforming them into diary-like entries that tell of experiences and encounters on site as well as reflect on the political context and the psychological impact of global warming.
FOTO ARSENAL WIEN presents Beate Gütschow’s first solo exhibition in Vienna from March 22 to June 23, 2024, including around one hundred works. The show, held in cooperation with the Klima Biennale Wien (April 5 to July 14, 2024), is curated by Felix Hoffmann, artistic director of FOTO ARSENAL WIEN.
About the Artist
Beate Gütschow (b. 1970), a professor of art photography at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, is based in Cologne and Berlin. Her works have been presented in many exhibitions and are included in the collections of museums such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Berlinische Galerie, and the Kunsthaus Zürich.
Gütschow studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg from 1993 to 2000, spending a year at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 1998. She was a guest professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig from 2009 to 2010.
Klima Biennale Wien
The first Klima Biennale Wien will take place from April 5 to July 14, 2024. It examines issues related to the climate crisis and options for the future. For one hundred days, the entire city of Vienna will revolve around the topics of nutrition, education, product design, and nature at the interface between art and science, politics, and society.