Exhibition: Steffi Klenz (GE/GB)

Curator: Michael Raymond (GB)

22.06 - 11.08 2024

Steffi Klenz

For her upcoming exhibition at NOUA, artist Steffi Klenz showcases new work. These collage-like photographic pieces draw from architecture, animal mimicry and traditional Japanese craft, inviting us to consider how we might build communities that better serve local people.

Fascinated by German architect Bruno Taut’s (1880-1938) ground-breaking style of cross-cultural architecture, Klenz’s work focuses on his Hyuga Villa in Japan. By incorporating traditional Japanese design elements, Taut critiqued euro-centric ideals of modernist architecture and its supposed universal models and principles. In exploring Taut’s place-sensitive building, Klenz asks us to consider how architecture can better reflect local cultures, environments and contexts.

Expanding on this, Klenz constructs multi-layered works combining elements of the Hyuga Villa with archive material of the wunderpus octopus, an animal which, like Taut, strives to reflect its surroundings. This is woven with imagery of traditional Japanese joinery as well as ink marbling and lacquer painting techniques. In combining these elements, Klenz echoes Taut by breaking with the conventions of architectural photography. Together these different artistic techniques and visual metaphors ask the viewer to consider not only the image, but the accumulation of ideas behind it. 


Steffi Klenz is an artist based in London who approaches photography as an expanded visual discipline. Her practice is fundamentally concerned with challenging conventional conceptions of architectural representation. Unlike conventional architectural photography, which uncritically flatters its architectural subject matter, Klenz revisits the capacities of the photographic image and architecture to go beyond containing and reproducing the built environment but instead her work bridges the gap between the flat surface of the photograph and the spatial experience of architecture.

Klenz takes great care in finding fitting and ambitious final form for her conceptual projects via books, exhibitions and exciting collaborations. Her agility of thinking is reflected in the ways in which she combines disparate references in her work, and also in the interesting ways in which she adapts it to the site in which it is exhibited.

She has exhibited her work across the UK and internationally. Selected venues include The British Museum, The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. The Royal Academy in London, The Wellcome Collection London, Camden Art Centre, The Museum for Contemporary Art in Taipei, The Museum of Contemporary Art Alicante,  FotoMuseum Antwerp, Los Angeles Centre for Digital Arts (2016), The Phoenix Art Museum, The Finish Museum of Photography, Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen and Museum Künstlerkolonie in Darmstadt.

Her work was part of the Rights of Passage Project for the 2015 Venice Biennale, The Biennale for Contemporary Photography in Germany in 2020, The International Biennale for Photography in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) in 2021, The Biennale for Electronic Language and Technology in Sao Paulo (Brazil) in 2022, The London Festival of Architecture in 2022 and most recently the 2023 Tokyo Biennale.


Michael Raymond is Assistant Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern where he works on acquisitions, exhibitions, collection displays and community programmes. He has co-curated the exhibitions Nam June Paik (2019), Cezanne (2022) and Philip Guston (2023), as well as displays including Vivan Sundaram, Rosa Barba, Monster Chetwynd and the Beuys’ Acorns installation by Ackroyd & Harvey on Tate Modern’s south terrace (2021).

Previously he worked at the British Museum on exhibitions including Hokusai (2017), Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece (2018), Manga (2019) and coordinated the Asahi Shimbun Displays.

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Exhibition opening
Saturday 22. June
14.00 - 16.00
NOUA Exhibition Space

Artist and curator tour
Saturday 22. June
15.00 - 15.30
NOUA Exhibition Space

NOUA Exhibition Space
Storgata 56, Bodø

Free admission