Grit Schwerdtfeger
ZEHN, 2010/2015


Over a one-year period, German photographer Grit Schwerdtfeger took photographs of her ten-year-old son, Lorenz. What began as Lorenz's idea to see himself develop evolved into a contemporary document; the photographs demonstrate the closeness and distance between mother and son. By integrating the photograph into their daily routine, the excitement and desire of sitting for the photo lapsed. The action became equivalent to any other daily task, performed without question or desire, and sometimes with aggravation, simply out of necessity.


Berlin-born artist Grit Schwerdtfeger completed her studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, where she currently lives. Her 2007 series, Distanz, invites the viewer into a visual world of casual beauty found in familiar spaces of leisure: beaches, spas, parks. Removed from place and time, the settings reflect a quiet sensitivity, captured in a modest format, central perspective, and layered symmetries. The artist maintains a controlled distance from the scene, always allowing the subdued colours of the landscape to reveal a reserved detachment. Within the serene order and harmony of the photographs, a sense of vacancy lingers. Human interaction is evident: traces of a domesticated landscape relate to the long-lasting relationship between nature and culture.


Schwerdtfeger has received numerous scholarships and awards, including a DAAD fellowship to study in Cuba, and a one-year residency at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Madrid. Her work is included in corporate and private collections in England, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Canada.