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Return to: Anne-Katrin Spiess

Artist Statement


My projects are created in wide, open and mostly very remote landscapes. I have worked in the distant and solitary prairies of Nebraska, in the heat and the silence of Death Valley, on the borders of the seemingly infinite Lake Michigan, in Newfoundland, in Utah, and I am currently doing projects on a desert island in Maine…

I create works whose function is in turn architectural, psychological, and ritualistic, mostly with the intent to redefine the significance of specific moments of existence. The severance from busy and hectic civilization creates a great physical, and especially a psychological distance from the "real" world, and it is in these remote places that I pursue my quest for "Essence".

In several of my projects, performance and ritual assume an essential role and the space assumes significance trough the action which is performed in it. Three water holes in an arid landscape become the site for "Cleansing", drawing from many sacred traditions where cleansing and purification lead to a higher spiritual awareness, and where purification of the body leads to purification of the soul. "Riverbath" is the ultimate bath, made of rocks, in the midst of a river, where the incessant flow of cool water provides for a form of never-ending purification through the elements. The underlying quest in all of my work is the search for a form of existence which reconnects to human being's roots, a search for life stripped of all the superficiality, all the excess of all masks and all costumes….

Because of the close connection with nature and with the land which I have developed rough my work over the past years, and because of the deep sense of responsibility which I feel towards the planet, a number of my more recent installations have started to address and call attention to important environmental issues.

My work is temporary, it is documented through video, text and photography, and consequently it is disassembled again, so that only the memory of it remains...

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