Inbetween narration and documentation, Lena Gudd (b. 1986, Germany) explores the interplay of inner and outer landscapes within an imaginary and geographical North. As self-taught artist and with a background in European Studies, Gudd combines aesthetic and anthropo-geographical research in the northernmost regions of the world. Through Wild und Frei she engages in particular with female instinctual nature following the traces of an inner wild woman, while her work on the mining town Fermont attempts to grasp the resonance of the human beings’ interrelation with the surrounding landscape in the Canadian Great North.
© Barbara Dietl, Berlin 2017
For her image-based work, Gudd draws on photography as a process, approach and philosophy, using the medium as compass to maneuver inbetween visible and invisible spheres. “Her standpoint is one that is not typical of her generation. Lena Gudd’s camera of choice is a heavy, traditional 6×6 that allows for no more than twelve shots per roll (…). Her photography is made up of the unforeseen, of sparseness and tension” (Michaël Houlette, 2015). Alongside her photographic research, Gudd further enriches her body of work with found objects, collages and installations, resulting in artistic as well as scientific documents and objects. “Lena Gudd likes the cold, the rain, and the fog of the northernmost regions, with Germany and Iceland but also and most of all Fermont, a Canadian mining town, the sites of her sensitive and unique anthropology. It is in the last of the West’s remaining wild territories that she explores this imperceptible freedom, this unutterable presence: the invisible trace of people” (ibid).
With Tumuult, Gudd & Pons Braley dedicate themselves to “An Archive of Norths” by studying the relationship between man and his milieu in the Subarctic and Arctic regions. Driven by a holistic approach, the duo composes an aesthetic and academic body of work, based on long-term field studies. Engaging with the North’s memory by archiving an idea of the milieu as well as the milieu itself, their research is among others annually published in La Revue. Tumuult is a member of the Gesellschaft für Kanadastudien (Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries). Gudd is moreover member of the Gesellschaft für Humanistische Fotografie (Society for Humanistic Photography) and associate researcher at Imaginaire Nord, Laboratoire international d’étude multidisciplinaire comparée des representations du Nord (Imaginary North, the International laboratory of compared multidisciplinary studies of the representations of North) of the University of Québec in Montreal, Canada.
Gudd, L., with Gaudy, H., Houlette, M. & Jacquot, S. (2015). Traces – Lena Gudd. Berlin: Tumuult.
As publisher, collection director
Bragg, C. (2016). I wish to see where the winds meet. Berlin: Tumuult.
Coutelier, D. & Houlette, M. (2016). Nouveau Monde – Henri Salesse. Berlin: Tumuult.
Barton, B., Gudd, L. & Pons Braley, A. (2015). I am watching you – Olya Bazilevich. Berlin: Tumuult.
Houlette, M. & Rivallin, M. (2014). Bovis 6×6. Berlin: Tumuult.
Recent exhibitions & talks
Wild und Frei, at RAW 17 Photofestival Off, Worpswede, 2017
Photography delimited, Gudd & Pons Braley at European Month of Photography, Berlin, 2016
Lanscape in Mind, Gudd & Pons Braley at Arles Voies Off photofestival, 2016
La trace invisible des gens, Solo exhibition at Maison de la Photographie Robert Doisneau, Gentilly, 2016
Wir sind Lilienthal, Lilienthal, 2015
Gudd & Pons Braley interviewed by Le Trait d’Union du Nord
Opening Days, European Month of Photography & Book Days Art Fair 2016, Objectiv Magazin
Creative Chaos, Three Questions to Tumuult by Art Press
German photographers portraits of Fermont, Gudd interviewed by Rachel Salomon on CBC Radio
Lena Gudd, à la trace (invisible) des gens, interview by Actuphoto
Sehen, ohne Türen zu öffnen, interview by Wümme Zeitung
Northern Lights, interview by First Magazin