Artist Statement

Susanne Wawra works across different media, exploring the intersection between personal autobiography and broader histories. She employs photography, printed matter and documents from her family possessions and from abandoned private archives bought via the internet to expand on her autobiographical background of growing up in East Germany before the fall of the Wall.

Wawra explores the past as an unfinished story and how notions of the private and the public are impacted by historical events. She uses mundane source material, applying collage techniques, drawing and writing to revisit and reimagine the everyday in a tension between fiction and reality. She creates layered mixed media work combining transfer print and painting. Further, Wawra carves low reliefs in reference to the stone monuments of Socialist Realism as well as reuses and subverts print, sound and video material from the propagandist GDR regime.

 

In doing so, she questions the reliably of recorded history and the role of memory. Through narrativisation, fabrication and personalisation, Susanne Wawra reinterprets the relationship between history and the self working towards a broader understanding of formations of selfhood.