In Susanne Schwieter and her art, there is a deep connection with the world of theater and set design. This is also due to her successful career as a set designer and costume designer in the lively and stimulating Berlin environment. It is not by chance that she says about what is at the origins of her work.
The most exciting moment of the theater for Susanne Schwieter is at the beginning of a performance. When the lights dim and the murmur of the audience ceases, leaving behind a promise that hovers in the air. As she continues: ‘This is a moment of immense and intense energy, full of desire and movement. This is what motivates me in my work.’
Not only do we recognize a cosmopolitan artist through her words, but also understand how she orients her work. She searches for possibilities and suggestions, rather than produces definitions and structured codes. In a flow of energy, full of desire and vitality, Schwieter captures shapes in continuous evolution and movement. Combining analog and digital techniques, she performs a series of countless transformations; she investigates, decomposes, and recomposes. As the result, offering the reality of endless possibilities for the attentive observer.
Often placed on large displays, her abstract works are actually seen only at the very moment when observed. Schwieter’s works include nothing defined and definable, taken for granted, or predetermined. Despite that, the barely recognizable historical memory contained in the images persists. The traces of something that was and still exists are there albeit in a different form.
That ‘promise that hovers in the air’ makes Schwieter’s work even more interesting. A promise that, not satisfied with a ‘forever’, but rather, seeks something that goes beyond it. And that evidently resides in the ‘anchor’, in the mystery of a historical and vital process that the artist consciously chooses not to govern completely.
It is not about the search for perfection in the sense of completeness, but about the infinite possibilities that are hidden even in the errors of repeatedly manipulated images. For example, in incalculable errors from the use of Google or Photoshop, or even in empty content in them. Not everything is governable in art, let alone in reality… And Schwieter, being aware of this, accepts the challenge of letting the work take on the signs of coincidence and randomness. Therefore reality is charged with value not for its objectivity, but in its predisposition to dynamism and imperfection. A relative dimension that makes it extremely more exciting and vital.
Schwieter’s works are ductile, aerial, possibilist, as if they wanted to invite the eye of the observer to unhinge paradigms and beliefs, certainties and dogmas, to recognize that reality, probably the whole of life, has value even in imperfect details or in unmarked spaces, as in unplanned transformation.
Text: Pieramaria Ciuffarella