Susanne Kriemann, Canopy, canopy (installation view), 2018, Wattis Institute; photo: Johnna Arnold

Summer exhibitions at CCA Wattis explore, expand, and disrupt notions of time

Two exhibitions include a solo show of German artist Susanne Kriemann and a group show curated by contemptorary.

San Francisco, CA—CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is proud to present Susanne Kriemann: Canopy, canopy—the first U.S. solo exhibition for the German artist—and Deep-Time Construction, a guest curated group exhibition by Capp Street Project Artists-in-Residence contemptorary and featuring works by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Lida Abdul, Sky Hopinka, NIC Kay, Asma Kazmi, and Amanda Russhell Wallace. This pairing of exhibitions explores, expands, and disrupts notions of time.

Curated by Kim Nguyen, Canopy, canopy, submits Kriemann’s intense investigation of radioactivity, archaeology, and landscape, which revolves around a core fascination with time—its application, its distortion, and its fabrication through the photographic lens. Her work leans on author Rob Nixon’s notion of slow violence—an incremental, attritional violence with devastating repercussions that develop out of sight and across a multiplicity of temporal scales and spaces. She considers the world to be an analogue “recording system” for human-caused processes in which change and obsolescence are slowly registered onto our physical environment. For Canopy, canopy, legacies of chemical and radiological violence are laced throughout the gallery. Time as well as toxicity seep into her work through the use of flora from polluted environments and radioactive stones and soil from the collection of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

In Deep-Time Construction, guest curators contemptorary bring together artists who, within their respective practices, create images, text, and use archival material to compose films that consider the fabrication of time: from the forging of coloniality, the continuous uprisings and the many more to come, and the potential spaces in between. The six time-based works featured in the exhibition demonstrate the potential and longing of durational experience—as movement, as a distillation, as arrangement—to be the reconfiguration of colonial time and measurement.

A series of commissioned essays is also part of their exhibition at the Wattis, with some relating to the specific works on view and others relating more thematically. Essays for Deep-Time Construction are by Nazik Dakkach, Aruna D'Souza, Sean D. Henry-Smith, Lindsay Nixon, Meganne Rosen, tamara suarez porras, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, and Leila Weefur. All of the writing is co-published by contemptorary and the Wattis Institute and appears on both organizations' websites.

Exhibition Sponsorship and Credits

Susanne Kriemann: Canopy, canopy is made possible thanks to the generous support of Lorna Meyer Calas & Dennis Calas and the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. Special thanks to Isabelle Busch; Ryan Peter; Mika Schwarz; California Academy of Sciences; Beat Raeber, Zurich; and Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam.

Deep-Time Construction is organized by Leila Grothe. Special thanks to the artists, Yomna Osman, and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.

About Susanne Kriemann

Susanne Kriemann (b. 1972, Erlangen, Germany) lives and works in Berlin and Karlsruhe. After completing her studies at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart in 1997 (where she studied under Joan Jonas and Joseph Kosuth), Kriemann enrolled in the Programme de recherche at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris in 2000. She has exhibited her work internationally in Basel, Toronto, Shanghai, Vienna, Vancouver, Paris, and Rotterdam, and since 1998 has produced sixteen artist books as multiples. She has participated in numerous artist residency programs, including in Moscow, Stockholm, Cairo, and Vienna. Together with Aleksander Komarov, she is one of the co-founders of the artist-run initiative AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz. Kriemann is currently a professor at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.

About contemptorary

contemptorary is an online arts publication supporting an archive of queer and women of color artists, and the emerging and alternative perspectives of radical aesthetics. It is edited by Eunsong Kim (b.1984, Seoul), Gelare Khoshgozaran (b.1986, Tehran), and Palestinian writer and curator Nasrin Himada. Kim, based in Boston, is a poet, translator, writer, and an assistant professor at Northeastern University. Her first book, gospel of regicide, was published in 2017. Khoshgozaran is a Los Angeles–based interdisciplinary artist and writer. Her work will be included in the exhibition Made in L.A. 2018 at the Hammer Museum in the summer of 2018. Nasrin Himada is a writer, editor, and curator based in Tio'tia:ke (Montréal), in Kanien'kehá:ka territory. Her writing on contemporary art has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Critical Signals, The Funambulist, Fuse Magazine, and MICE Magazine, among others. contemptorary received the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2016.

About CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Founded in 1998 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and located a few blocks from its campus, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. As an exhibition space, it commissions and shows new work by emerging and established artists from around the world. Recent solo exhibitions include Ken Lum: What’s old is old for a dog.; Henrik Olesen: The Walk; Melanie Gilligan: Parts-wholes; Howard Fried: Derelicts; Laura Owens: Ten Paintings; Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Tram 3 (which traveled to MoMA PS1); Josephine Pryde: Lapses in Thinking by the Person I Am (which traveled to ICA Philadelphia and earned Pryde a 2016 Turner Prize nomination); K.r.m. Mooney: En, set; Sam Lewitt: More Heat Than Light (which traveled to Kunsthalle Basel and the Swiss Institute, New York); and Ellen Cantor: Cinderella Syndrome (which traveled to Künstlerhaus Stuttgart). A recent group exhibition, Mechanisms, travels to Secession in Vienna in an expanded form entitled Other Mechanisms.

As a research institute, the Wattis dedicates an entire year to reflecting on the work of a single artist, which informs a regular series of public programs and publications involving the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers. The 2018–2019 season is dedicated to the writer Dodie Bellamy; past seasons featured Joan Jonas, Andrea Fraser, David Hammons, and Seth Price.

The Wattis also hosts an annual Capp Street Artist-in-Residence, one of the earliest and longest-running artist-in-residence programs in the country, founded in 1983 by Ann Hatch, as Capp Street Project, and incorporated into the Wattis Institute in 1998. Each year, an artist comes to live and work in San Francisco for a semester, teaches a graduate seminar at CCA, and presents an exhibition. Recent participants include contemptorary (2017-2018), Melanie Gilligan (2016-2017), Carissa Rodriguez (2015-2016), Nairy Baghramian (2014-2015), Claire Fontaine (2013-2014), Ryan Gander (2012-2013), Harrell Fletcher and Kris Martin (2011-2012), Paulina Olowska and Renata Lucas (2010-2011), and Abraham Cruzvillegas (2009-2010).

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2018 marks the organization’s 20th year. A celebration is planned for November 2018.

CCA’s Wattis is also an invaluable resource for California College of the Arts students, including those within the school’s renowned Curatorial Practice program (CURP). Providing students with a deep understanding of art, artists, galleries, and museums in order to empower their work in the art world, the CURP program culminates in students organizing, curating, and promoting an exhibition at the Wattis.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefiting from its San Francisco Bay Area location and faculty of expert practitioners, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Graduates are highly sought-after by the world’s leading companies, architecture and design firms, cultural and arts organizations, and more. CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the award-winning architectural firm Studio Gang, and will provide more student housing than ever before.

Press Materials

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David Owens-Hill

Director of Communications

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