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Artists' books with photography

Workshop on artists' books with Susanne Kriemann and Alexander Komarov with Abdulnasser Gharem.

Since the 1970s, artists' books have become both a complementary and independent art form. Over the decades they developed into a movement that plays with all formats such as possibilities of publishing and print-on-demand.

In the workshop we will look at iconic artists' books that have had a decisive impact on artistic photography, such as Ed Ruscha's "Every Building on the Sunset Strip" or Roni Horn's "Another Water".

In addition to historical examples, the workshop will focus on the flood of artists' books of the last decade. Here we will take a closer look at books like Batia Suter's "Parallel Encyclopedia", and at publishers like Roma-publications or Spector Books, including them in the research on artists' books with photography, thus going deeper and deeper into this world of sorting, forming, conceptualizing and assembling.

At the end of the workshop the participants will present the artist books they created.

The four-day workshop will be led by Susanne Kriemann and Aleksander Komarov with Abdulnasser Gharem at the Gharem Studio.

When? 12 -15.12.2021 1PM-6PM

Where? Gharem Studio, Riyadh

How long? 5 hours per day, exact times will be given upon registration.

How to apply? Send us an email at programm-ksa@goethe.de with a short bio (200 words), samples of your art and a 500 word explanation, what you expect from the workshop for your artistic practice.

The workshop is a cooperation between the Goethe-Institut Saudi Arabia and Gharem Studio.

Susanne Kriemann (1972, Germany)
lives and works in Berlin. She is professor for Artistic Photography at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe and co-founder of the artist initiative AiR Berlin Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Kriemann investigates the medium of photography in the context of social history and archival practice. With an extended notion of the photographic document, she reflects on the world as an analogue “recording system” for human-caused processes. This has led to preoccupations with radioactivity and mining, archaeology and the notion of slow violence. A focus on ecology is prevalent in Kriemann’s subjects. To perceive polluted areas as vast photosensitive arrays is key to her understanding of landscape. An exceptional feature is the extraction of pigments from the investigated matter and the use of those pigments to produce her pictures. Kriemann’s work was exhibited internationally, upon others at The Wattis San Francisco; Kunsthalle Wien; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Kunsthalle Winterthur, currently a solo exhibition of her work is on view at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg and Salonul de projecte Bucarest; She has participated in the 11th Shanghai Biennial, the 10th Gothenburg Biennial, the 5th Moscow Biennial and 5th Berlin Biennial. Further she participated in various artist residency programs, including 2019 NTU CCA Singapore and Goethe-Institut Colombo; she has co-published seventeen artist’s books since 1998.


Aleksander Komarov
is a visual artist, filmmaker, curator, organizer, writer, co-founder of ABA e.V., co-founder of the Pxflux.net - media platform for presentation, distribution, archiving and collecting time-based artworks. Komarov is a lecturer at NYU (New York University) Berlin. He published written essays concerning questions of migrating identities, (cultural) globalization, the condition of contemporary art and its relation to broader economic contexts. His films include Anchovies (2019), Bloks (2018), Language Lessons (2013), Palipaduazennje (2012), Capital (2009), Estate (2008). His works were exhibited, most recently at the Gallery Y, Center for Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus( 2019); WRO Media Art Biennial, Wroclaw, Poland (2017), Moscow Biennial (2015), Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok, PL (2014), "The Way of the Shovel", curated by Dieter Roelstraete at the MCA Chicago (2013) and the Istanbul Biennial, curated by Hou Hanru (2007).

Abdulnasser Gharem
Born 1973 in Khamis Mushait where he used to live and work. In 1992 Gharem graduated from the King Abdulaziz Academy before attending The Leader Institute in Riyadh. In 2003 he studied at the influential Al- Meftaha Arts Village in Abha and in 2004 Gharem and the Al- Meftaha artists staged a group exhibition, Shattah, which challenged existing modes of art practice in Saudi Arabia. Since then Gharem has exhibited in Europe, the Gulf and the USA, including at Martin Gropius-Bau, LACMA museum, British Museum, V&A museum and the Venice, Sharjah and Berlin Biennales, whilst concurrently being promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Arabian army. Abdulnasser Gharem is the co-founder of Edge of Arabia it was started in the mountains of South Western Saudi Arabia, in March 2003. What began as an unlikely friendship and artistic collaboration is now an internationally recognised platform for dialogue and exchange between the Middle East and western world. As a non-profit social enterprise, Edge of Arabia is committed to reaching new audiences and improving understanding through free exhibitions, publications and public programming. Artist Abdulnasser Gharem moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2013 in an attempt to broaden his professional resources and established Gharem Studio in the process. Due to the lack of proper studios for artists in the city of Riyadh, Gharem Studio began as a working space for Abdulnasser. The space attracted fellow artists, photographers and creative minds, who proved to be the first wave of a new Saudi art initiative.



Start 12.12.2021, 1 PM-6PM

Introductions Susanne Kriemann, Aleksander Komarov
Introductions of all participants
Lecture by Susanne Kriemann on artist books using digital as well as brought artist books.

Dec. 13, 1PM-6PM

Collecting ideas and materials:
Walk through books: idea collection and idea storming.
Drive and walk through Riyadh: collecting materials (taking digital pictures, collecting materials)

14.12., 1PM-6PM

Clarifying ideas and materials.

15.12., 1PM-6PM

Finalizing ideas and materials and book-compiling and presenting results.