Deidi von Schaewen

1941 | Berlin, Germany

German photographer.

Living and working in Paris, the artist Deidi von Schaewen began directing films, such as the short film Roland Roure (1982), before devoting herself to photography, which she discovered at the Academy of Arts in Berlin and which fascinated her with its “magical emergence of images born in the dark”. Attached to the notion of the ephemeral, she began a work of cataloguing, aiming to identify traces of reality. Her objective, frontal photographs consist of scaffolding, walls, gutters, footpaths and some silhouettes. Distancing herself from her early research, the artist now exhibits elements of architecture, landscape and cities from around the world with a constant concern for objectivity. She photographs buildings of contemporary architects such as Tadao Ando and Jean Nouvel. To reveal what she perceives, D. von Schaewen returned to the approach of minimal art and to the frontal and industrial aesthetics of Bernd and Hilla Becher.

Always inspired by her environment, her works composed in series reveal yet another of her obsessions, that of ephemeral traces that find themselves in modern cities in various forms. They bear witness to that which appears to be the new everyday aesthetics: walls beginning in 1961, scaffolding in 1966 and footpaths from 1977, to the more recent covered cars and Indian towers became the very object of her visual research. For her work Inside Africa (2003), the artist created a link between her interest in architecture and in the ephemeral by looking at other forms of habitat. Her series shows the precariousness of urban housing and shacks in certain regions of Africa, built like a colourful patchwork of everyday elements.

Maïa Kantor

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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