In support of our exhibition Adrift, we’re asking our exhibiting artists four questions to help you get to know a bit about them and their work.
Gesche Würfel is a German visual artist who currently lives and works in New York City, NY. She received her BSc.+MSc. in Urban Planning from the University of Dortmund, Germany, and her M.A. in Photography and Urban Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2007, Würfel was selected as one of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries showcasing the best emerging talent from UK art schools. Some of her recent exhibitions include solo shows at Wolk Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC; Goldsmiths, University of London, UK; Underground Gallery, London and Field Projects, NYC . Her work has been shown among others in group shows at Tate Modern, [space], Photofusion, all in London, UK; The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, UK; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK; Kokerei Zollverein, Essen, Germany; Curator’s Office, Washington, DC; and THE FENCE at PHOTOVILLE, New York. Her work is included in the MIT Museum’s Collection, along with many private collections in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (bio from forthcoming Gasket and The Velvet Cell publication)
What can a photo do that other representations can’t? What is it that made you choose photography over other media as a way of communicating?
When I started with photography I never considered another medium. It seemed so natural. I like to observe spaces and others, and I like to tell a story with a few photos. The viewer needs to use her or his imagination. Compared to film photography leaves many more gaps for the viewer to fill in. I have worked a bit with film but I found that it created a level of detail that I didn’t feel comfortable with. I don’t like pinpointing every aspect of my work. Now I would like to explore other media like (traditional) printmaking in order to create more abstract images.
What’s the first thing you remember photographing and why did you choose it as your subject?
I remember photographing my family and friends when I was young as they were the available subjects at that time. I first used my parents camera before I was given my own simple camera when I was about 12 years old. During my teenage years I was mainly interested in photographing people before I started to focus on spaces at a later age.
How does your photographic process work, where do you start? Is it with a theory or idea, or is it driven by aesthetics or a desire to use a certain technique or piece of equipment?
It depends. Sometimes it begins with an idea which I explore through further research before I start to photograph. Sometimes I see something aesthetically inspiring and take photos right away. ’Go for Gold!’ started out as as idea to photograph the future Olympic site for my MA final visual project. With ’Go for Gold!’ I wanted to explore how the 2012 Games contribute to the massive social and geographical transformation of the Lower LeaValley landscape. I took lots of photos, did a lot of research and had conversations with my teachers and class mates, all which helped me to develop the project. I was so inspired by the area that after having submitted the final visual project I decided to continue ’Go for Gold!’ as a long-term project so that I would be able to document the changes in the Lower Lea Valley over time. I have returned to some of the venues during the Paralympic Games, and my intention is to return to the sport venues again in 2016.
Have you found photography to be an effective research tool? Has it uncovered ideas which have changed the path of your thinking?
What’s your favourite f-stop?
That depends on the image but f16 is quite a favourite one.
More of Gesche’s work and writing can be found via the following links