Sinje Dillenkofer2019-03-29T12:53:15+00:00
Sinje Dillenkofer, Case 11, 2019, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Sinje Dillenkofer

*1959 in Neustadt an der Weinstraße

1987 Diploma Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
2000-04 Deputy professorship Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart
1992 Cité Internationale des Arts Paris
1995 Paul-Strecker Prize, Prize for painting, Landesmuseum Mainz
1996 Baldreitstipendium (Baldreit grant) from the city of Baden-Baden
1999 Casa Baldi, Olevano di Romana
2002 Artist-In-Residence grant, Neue Galerie Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum
2009 Artist-In-Residence grant, ZF Kulturstiftung Friedrichshafen
1990 “Living in a Box”, Helen Drutt Gallery, New York, US
1991 Museum Schloss Salder, Salzgitter, DE
1992 “Sinje Dillenkofer”, Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe, DE
1993 “Vida en una Caja”, Galleria Handal, La Paz, BO
1996 “Photoobjekte und Installationen”, Kunstverein Heilbronn, DE
“Photoobjekte und Installationen” Landesmuseum Mainz, DE
1997 “INNOCENTIA I-XXV” Kunstverein Göttingen und Galerie O. Ahlers, Göttingen, DE
1998 Galeria Visor, Valencia, Spanien, ES
2000 “Sinje Dillenkofer”, Galerie KunstRaum, Trier, DE
2002 “Symbol und Abstraktion”, Galerie Eugen Lendl, Graz, Österreich, AT
2003 “Foto-Objekte”, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, DE
2006 “CASES”, Galerie J&P Fine Art, Zürich, Schweiz, CH
2009 “CASES”, Villa Oppenheim, Galerie für Gegenwartskunst Berlin, DE
2010 “Inversion”, Goethe Institut Nancy, FR
2011 “CASES”, Galerie Flo Peters, Hamburg, DE
2012 “INVERSIO”, Galerie Wenger, Zürich, CH
2013 “Schnittstelle”, Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum Emden, DE
2015 “Architekturen des Archivs”, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck, AT
2017 “TRANSLOCALS”, Galerie Bildhalle, Zürich, DE
1989 Rafael Matos Galerie, Mexico City, MX
1991 Kunstverein Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, DE
1995 “Begreifungskräfte, Künstlerinnen heute”, Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe, DE
1996 “Le Masque et le Miroir”, Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, FR
1997 “Màscara i Mirall”, Museum für Moderne Kunst, MACBA, Barcelona, ES
1998 “Work & Culture”, Landesgalerie Oberösterreich, Landesmuseum Linz, AT
1999 “missing link.Menschen-Bilder in der Photographie”, Kunstmuseum Bern, CH
2000 “Der anagrammatische Körper”, ZKM Karlsruhe, DE
“Le Siécle du Corps”, Musée de l’Elysée Lausanne, FR / Culturgest, Lissabon, PO
2003 »Licht und Schatten. PHOTO-Kunst 1852–2002«, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, DE
2005 “ENTOURAGE DE?”, Villa Merkel, Galerie der Stadt Esslingen, DE
“Artist In Residence 2000–04”, Neue Galerie des Landesmuseums Graz, AT
2008 “Tiere – Tierbilder”, Kunsthalle Göppingen Schloss Filseck, DE
2011 “Gaumenfreuden – Augenschmaus. Das Essen in der aktuellen Kunst”, Kallmann Museum Ismaning, DE
2014 “Kunst in Berlin 1945 bis heute”, Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum Berlin, DE
2015 “Beneath the surface”, Victoria & Albert Museum, Somerset House, London, GB
“ALLE”, 60 Jahre Künstlerbund Baden Württemberg, Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, DE
2016 “Safarix”, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, FR
2017 “Contemporary Art in Times of Conflicts”, Casino Luxembourg, forum d’art contemporain, LU
2018 Victoria & Albert Museum, London, GB
2019 “Kubus. Sparda-Kunstpreis”, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, DE
1992 “RESERVATE” (Verlag und Buchhandlung Lindemann)
1996 “Sinje Dillenkofer” (Kerber)
1997 “INNOCENTIA I–XXV” (Kunstverein Göppingen)
2000 “Photoobjekte” (Edition Kabinett 3/Burkardt Leitner constructiv)
2006 “CASES” (Galerie J&P Fine Art, Zürich)
2010 “CASES 2009/10” (ZF Kunststiftung Friedrichshafen)
2015 “Architekturen des Archivs” (Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck)
Portrait Sinje Dillenkofer - Kubus. Sparda Kunstpreis 2019

 Repositories of remembrance and safe-keeping


With her works, Sinje Dillenkofer reveals the influences and consequences of humankind on the environment, as well as the forms of objects and representation that result from these. In the exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, the reciprocal formal and thematic relationships become discernible, and multi-layered references are unveiled. Architecture, the human body, and archive container enter into a dialog as repositories of remembrance and safe-keeping; as bearers of traces and evidence, they refer to power structures and that which is absent.

The works of Sinje Dillenkofer refer to socio-political and socio-cultural circumstances, whereby they are both documentary and conceptual. The photographs are characterized by an alternation between abstract and realistic representation, as well as an often painterly and haptic impression. Some of the photographs bear traces; they refer to something absent. In their reference to reality and sensual perception, they make an offer to the viewer: They incite both the recognition of the familiar and a change of perspective on what is seen, as well as the topics raised by this.

Bearers of traces

The two installations “Placeholder” (64 parts, 2019) and “Die Umkehrung” (The Reversal, 38 parts, 1994) deal with the distribution of power and gender in the capitalist economic system. Placeholder presents photographs of remnants of steel beams from the Twin Towers of the former World Trade Center in New York, which were destroyed in 2001. The relics at the bottom of Ground Zero force the viewer to look downwards instead of, as in the past, upwards along the architecture. The direction in which Sinje Dillenkofer’s photographs of the steel girders emphasize the view is indicative of the vulnerability of the system that found embodiment in the Twin Towers. Through the photographic depiction, the steel girders become square, emblematic structures of lines that appear as “recollections” and “placeholders”. In the installation “Die Umkehrung“, the chosen symbol, the sole of the foot, is also associated with vulnerability, in this case related to society, especially to the inequality between the sexes that exists within it. Photographs of the right soles of the feet of thirty-eight employees of the DZ Bank personnel department were converted into photographic objects and hung in the installation separately according to gender. The size and depth of the objects correspond to the respective hierarchical position of individuals within the bank’s department.

Sinje Dillenkofer, Placeholder, Ground Zero, 2017/2019, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Sinje Dillenkofer, The Inversion (Die Umkehrung), 1994, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Man and nature

A second focus is on observations of how humans understand and deal with nature. In 1705, the natural scientist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian published the results of her research into the metamorphosis of butterflies. Some of her publications have been archived. Over the centuries, the colors of a very rare copy of one book reacted with the paper, so that parts of the illustrations are visible on the reverse side of the page, while others disappeared completely. With “By Nature” (2019), Sinje Dillenkofer documents these random reaction processes. For the artist, Merian’s copper engravings reflect a specific view of nature. She sees the natural reaction process as a synonym for a changed image of nature, which she makes visible by her artistic interpretation within a new context.

Transformation and deformation

Genetic transformations deliberately induced by humans are the focus of the photographs of Valais Blackneck goats and so-called “Husum Protest pigs”. The animals are bred in such a way that their fur is two-colored. The breeders strive for a perfect line, a hair-fine separation between the two coat colors. Every irregularity – and thus individuality – is regarded by them as a mistake. Their idea of nature is uniform.

The series “Disjunktionen paralleler Konstrukte” (Disjunctions of Parallel Constructs, 2019) also deals with deformation processes. It demonstrates mankind’s ability to shape and relate to the surrounding environment. In this series, pairs are formed by two related images – a napkin folded according to historical tradition and a figure whose body posture picks up on the shape of the napkin. The fold of the napkin is based, in turn, on analogies with everyday objects or animalistic-organic forms. An interaction unfolds as the napkins, each identified by their historical names, take on subjective traits and the humans become objects. Both are charged with meanings attributed to them.

Collecting and archiving

Such cultural and socio-historical connections are also invoked by the “Cases” (since 2001), in which Sinje Dillenkofer’s artistic position is condensed. The photographs bear witness to the 500-year-old European tradition of collecting and archiving. They thus also provide insight into prevailing concepts of value. The focus is not on the objects themselves, but on their historical containers. Imprints and the architecture of the boxes encourage speculation as to which objects may have been stored inside them. In addition to their form, it is their aesthetics, the colors and materials, but also their haptics, which Dillenkofer stages and elaborates. The “Cases” are presented on the wall and thus set upright, instead of lying, as in the original. In combination with various magnification levels, this influences the viewer’s sensual and physical perception.

With her works, Sinje Dillenkofer makes visible the impacts and effects of humans on their environment, as well as the resulting forms of objects and representation. In the exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, the reciprocal formal and content-related relationships become discernible, and multi-layered references are revealed.

Sinje Dillenkofer, Case I_22, 2015, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Sinje Dillenkofer, Case 82, 2010, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Sinje Dillenkofer, Case 67, 2001, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019