1.7 cm p.a.
My current project, called 1.7 cm a year. The Title refers to what is called the Continental Drift: the movement of the tectonic plates on our planet, which causes the continents to shift. This phenomenon is of poetic importance to me, because it shows that even the steady ground below our feet is not static, but subject to forces too vast for us to fathom. As I was working on this project, I felt how small humanity is in the face of these natural processes. It is part of the power of photography to make this largely invisible movement visible, and indeed the results can strike the viewer with unexpected force.
Using a poetic analogy that connects the shifts in the earth’s surface to shifts within contemporary societies, I ask myself: are not just continents, but groups of people moving further apart? There appears to be a global unwillingness to bridge the gap between right and left, young and old, as well as between ethnic groups and social classes – a development that has no doubt been accelerated by the internet. “Polarisation” is a social term with geographical overtones. I want to find out to what extent photography can tell a story about the shift in a person’s values and persuasions, making this movement visible in analogy to 1.7 cm per year.
I travelled to Iceland, to places where the Drift becomes visible, and made installations there that accentuate this movement. These installations include demarcations of the breaking lines with white ribbon, in some cases literally bridging the cracks in the planet: this “bridge”, if left there for long enough, will eventually snap as the gap widens over time. These installations were documented in a series of photographs, alongside images that portray human life in these places. The point of my project, however, is not to emphasise our insignificance or induce hopelessness. The Continental Drift is beautiful; it is a precondition of the existence of life as we know it. And finally, changes can have positive effects. As Ernst Bloch said: “the important thing is learning to hope.”
This project explores the reasons why artists are attracted to the enigmatic island of La Gomera, in the Spanish Canaries. In this project, I try to find out more about this special place, the landscapes that send me into flights of fancy. But I also want to know what that says about myself: what is it that makes western artists fall in love with the exotic, as Gaugin did in Tahiti almost 140 years ago? I normally question everything and take a critical, political perspective on the world. In this work, I want to question my own unshakeable romanticism.
Uschi Groos, born in Germany. Trained as photographer, lives and works as a freelance photographer in Germany and on La Gomera, where she runs an artist residency (Casa Tagumerche). This art space allows her to experience a wealth of exchanges with artists from all over the world.
Her work has been shown in national and international galleries, in solo and group shows.
I hate the expression „leaving one’s comfort zone“, because for me, there is no such thing as a comfort zone. I never make it easy for myself in my work and always push the boundaries of what I can do. In my photographic work, I don’t try to comfort or entertain the viewer. Instead, I want to show things that might not be comfortable to look at, but provide new perspectives on topics we have taken for granted too easily.
2023 Winner Helsinki Photo Festival
2023 Uruguay San Jose Photo Festival
2023 Rotterdam Photo Festival, during Art Rotterdam Week
2023 Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME)
2022 Wiesbadener Fototage
2022 Cultural Center Vallehermoso, La Gomera
2021 GOPHO München
2018 KAOST Gallery Frankfurt
2003 Gallery Hohenahr
2000 Old Leica Gallery Wetzlar
2021 DIGIT Coverpage
2021 Profifoto Coverpage
2010 Photo Magazin u.s.
2006 Vrij Nederland
2023 Spain Getxo Festival shortlist
2022 ND Awards international photography contest. 1.7 cm (Series, Professional) id 22/62587 – Honorable Mention in Editorial: Photo Essay / Story category
2022 Circulation(s), Paris (Shortlist, selected)
2022 PH Museum Folio
2022 Shortlist Athens Photography Festival
2022 Selected artist NOOR Nikon Akademie Warschau
2021 Portfolio Review Sichtbar
2020 Queer Festival Heidelberg
2010 Shortlist Dummy Award Kassel
Phone: +49 6446 2324
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