°CLAIR Gallery | Fine Art Photography | Biography of Gundula Friese - °CLAIR Gallery | Fine Art Photography
Biography of Gundula Friese

Friese Portrait

  • Biography

    Born in 1959 in Magdeburg, currently living in Berlin.

    Gundula Friese studied photography at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig as well as Sound and Video design at the Berlin Academy of Digital Media. Her work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions. Gundula Friese was drawn to photography early in life. A portrait showing a young boy led to a key moment:

    He was around eleven years old, the same age as I was then. He stood in the midst of a bleak cityscape, serenely looking into the camera. The image both confused and calmed me, in equal measure. It was a condition of inner agitation. I felt seen and recognized. But wasn’t it I who was looking, gazing at a young boy in a picture? I remembered then that I wanted to take photographs. 

    From 1999 to 2001 Gundula Friese worked as a photographer for the State Office of Criminal Investigation in Berlin. She spent two years documenting crime scenes, postmortems, injuries, perpetrators and victims. She learnt that pictures are not only taken with the camera but are absorbed by the photographer also – an experience that has influenced her world view ever since. Friese’s portraits of people and places, which take the form of single images as well as series, photographic cycles and videos, are the result of her cautious approach to and persistent observation of the world. She makes connections and interrelations visible so that she and we who look at her work are part of it.

    Friese’s work is a quest through time and through the world. Tiefblau (deep blue – 2003-2007), a cycle of analog photographs and video pieces on the ocean, led her around the Iberian peninsula through the Pyrenees, from the Spanish to the Portuguese coast. To Friese, the camera at times is a scientific instrument: by using it to scan the outside world, she traces the counterparts to her inner images and pieces them together as in a mosaic.

  • Awards and Collections

    2013 Sammlung Ostdeutsche Fotografie, Gabriele Koenig, Aachen, Germany
    2009 East_for the record“ Neue Fotografische Sammlung VNG, Germany
    2008 “Lichtung” Fotografische Sammlung des Museum Neuköln, Germany
    2000 FreeLens Layout Preis, Berlin for „das Team“, Germany
    1998 Erster europäischer Fotografinnenpreis ‘97/98,
    Dryphoto – Arte contemporanea, Prato/Italy
    PhotoEspana`98, Award Agfa best Portfolio, Madrid, Spain
    1996/97 Goldrausch, Künstlerinnenprojekt, Berlin, Germany
    1995 Kunstpreis Brandenburg, Brandenburg, Germany
    1993 Arbeitsstipendium Stiftung Kulturfonds, Berlin, Germany
    1990 Kunstpreis Neukölln für „Schillerpromenade“, Berlin, Germany
    Photographische Sammlung, Museum Neukölln, Berlin, Germany

  • Publications

    (a selection)

    2011 “View York“ Nine Perceptions, Kerberverlag, Bielefeld
    2010 M A U E R F Ä L L E & EAST – Zu Protokoll /
    For the Record, Steidl verlag, Göttingen
    2001 der letzte Limes, Walther König Verlag, Köln
    2001 das Team, Walther König Verlag, Köln

    1998 Imago ‘98, Katalog, Salamanca
    Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, Spanien
    1998 I luoghi della vita, Katalog, Comeana,
    Villa Le Farnete, Italien
    1997 Waschhaus, eine Garnisionswaschanstalt, Berlin
    1996 Gesten, Walther König Verlag, Köln

  • Shows and Movies

    2014 Artist in Residence, Schloss Werdenberg festival, Switzerland
    2013 “The Musician, The Painter, The Designer and The
    One who is still searching” NYC Dokumentarfilm 45 min
    2012 „View York Nine Perceptions”
    a group show curated by °CLAIR for German-American Institute Tübingen and Freiburg
    Social Photofest Perugia di VILLA FIDELIA Perugia
    Social Photofest Piombino, Italien
    2011 “View York Nine Perceptions”, a group show curated by °CLAIR – °CLAIR Galerie München2010 M A U E R F Ä L L E & EAST – Zu Protokoll / For the Record, Frankfurt am Main
    2009 “East for the record“ Museum of Fine Art und Museum of Contemporary Art, group show, Leipzig
    Pavilhao. 28, Espaco Expositivo do Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátri, group show, Lisbon
    Istanbul Next Wave, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
    2008 „my grandmother. the steppe. my love. the ocean”
    Fotografien und Videoarbeiten, Lissabon
    „The Combinatione Arrabbiatica”
    mit Axel Heil u. Uwe Lindau, Lissabon
    2007 Arte Lisboa Fotografien/Video, Lissabon
    Fotografien Galerie Jordanow, München
    2006 “me and the ocean Fotografien/Videoarbeiten”
    at Yoyo Friedrich, New York