Rotterdam is often touted as the most ethnically and culturally diverse city in the Netherlands, and one of the most diverse in Europe, but also as an ever-changing city, as a place under constant construction. How can this condition be perceived and, furthermore, articulated? Since the fall of 2007, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art has produced a series of books focused on Rotterdam, each showcasing the vision of an artist mainly working with photography or video, who has a strong relationship to the city. Cumulatively, this loose series of artists’ books continues to bring into focus Rotterdam’s very different urban protagonists.
Susanne Kriemann’s ONE DAY is the third book in a series of portraits, in book form, of the City of Rotterdam, that Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art has been producing in collaboration with artists who are particularly concerned with photographic medium.
Kriemann is an artist whose work explores how images circulate and how displacement is represented in photography. For this project Kriemann collected a long list of books about Rotterdam, all of which have been published since its devastating bombing by the Luftwaffe in May 1940. The second largest city in The Netherlands and arguably the most culturally diverse, Rotterdam is unique in that its rebuilding did not focus on restoring the pre-war urban fabric, but instead became a multi-faceted experiment in architecture and urban planning that at times mirrors, and at times seems at odds with its evolving social composition. From the books she collected, which document Rotterdam’s evolution, Kriemann selected 115 images and imposed a structure that is at once drastic and mundane: The flow of images in her book condense the experience of time by subtly tracing the course of one day, from dawn until dusk.
If information and representations today are perpetually “under-construction” within the digital world, might the printed book remain a place of rest and of in-depth reflection where one reading is not enough? How does the building a new book entirely out of existing books reconsider the ecology of the image and the social fabric of the city, making palpable the abstract notions of second readings, second takes and even second lives?These are just some of the questions raised by ONE DAY.
In order to explore Susanne Kriemann’s process – particularly her way of working with photographs and with books – Witte de With has invited the New York-based curator and writer Christopher Eamon to conduct an interview with the artist on the occasion of the launch of ONE DAY at the 2010 New York Art Book Fair. Eamon, who has worked chiefly with moving images, having curated one of the most prestigious collections of video art in the United States, brings his experience to an encounter with Kriemann’s dialectical art.
Nicolaus Schafhausen, Monika Szewczyk
Amira Gad, Susanne Kriemann, Monika Szewczyk
Miki Kanai, Ilka Tödt
Book includes a detailed listing of sources with original captions
Printed and bound at
Lecturis, Eindhoven, The Netherlands