Irene Sauter captures the depth in simplicity. As an artist who grapples with the paradox of the image – in particular its ability to both sensitize and desensitize viewers to the world around them – her diverse approaches to her subject matter have a common goal: to break the pattern of automatic association and reaction that we experience when confronted with pictures. Her art returns to the image its power to effectuate more profound and authentic sentiment by allowing the viewer to transport beyond the image itself towards a deeper understanding based on intrinsic and fundamental wisdom. An understanding that is not jaded by the perpetual flooding of imagery.
The S.M.A.K. featured artist offers her insight to the next generation as a lecturer on photojournalism at the Deutsche Welle Akademie in Bonn. It is only fitting that her firsthand knowledge and experience of how images can sway opinion and conscience be applied to training the very people who will create the images that will mold our memories of world events. The Berlin based artist understands how images can inspire and instill sympathy, horror, joy, compassion. She also realizes that they can make us complacent and desensitized. Her art is an attempt to toe the line between these two poles. To bridge the paradox. Sauter accomplishes this by imparting her images with minimal information and allowing her viewer to exercise the innate ability to conjure up a visual, a story, a message with mere suggestions and intimations. Both of which her art exudes.
Sauter’s work has been honored and recognized by numerous institutions and foundations. The Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten hosted her for a two year residency. Her work has been exhibited in Germany, Belgium and Netherlands. Most notably, her work was exhibited at Documenta 11 in collaboration with fellow artist Meschac Gaba. This prestigious recognition of her achievements is a testament to the valuable statement she has made and continues to make through her exploration of the influence of images.