Sandra Senn is a modern day photographer primarily known for her composed model-like imagery that’s positioned between fiction and reality. Through the usage of the subtle arrangements of landscapes and architecture the artist manages to achieve a specific stage characteristics, one of the trademarks of her work. Sandra Senn’s artworks are executed in a playful manner. Every one of her pieces ignites meandering associations in the imagination or the viewers and firmly insert itself in the multiple currents of memory. Cheap and banal building materials, press chipboard and timber, are transformed in the dreamlike tilted silhouette of houses or grandiose ships. The natural backdrop of her imagery and artificial man-made architecture that formed together offers plenty of material for creating a dream-transforming theater.
Exploring the Social Characteristics of Places
Sandra Senn was born in Baden, Switzerland in 1973. She originally came from representational style of painting to photography. In 2001 she received a scholarship from Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and due to her remarkable landscapes that she made in 2004 she received a scholarship for a one-year stay in Berlin, but remained there for six years.1 Sandra Senn was fascinated by the political and urban development processes taking place in Berlin, witnessing all the fractures and contrasts in the city, especially from the stimulating innovative art scene. This was a huge inspiration for her work. Sandra Senn is primarily interested in exploring the moment in which landscape dissolves and becomes independent of the depictions of a landscape, like entering a hover state of the photographic landscape between documented and constructed reality. In her work, the artist explores the social characteristics of places and their perception and tries to answer the question: under which conditions buildings and landscapes transform into a home? Sandra Senn combines expectations with reality to awaken desires and visions, revealing all the fantastic stories that can run free. Against the landscape background, Sandra Senn selects an alteration compared to the image of the uncontaminated nature through its human intervention: dams, slopes with chair lifts and snow cannons, artificial bathing vessels, and gravel pits. At this point, she adds and edits a shot with medium-format real landscapes on the computer. Mostly she captures that moment in which the intervention made by the subject standing in the picture illustrates the country itself.
Landscape photography by Sandra Senn contain unique allure and the sense of familiarity
Dreamlike Art Photography by Sandra Senn
Sandra Senn started her career by portraying various seemingly common places. Wild river, steep cliffs or wide plains of snow covered places. And though at first glance they feel familiar the odd constructions of the pieces reveal their artificial quality. Swiss landscape photographer starts her artistic process by taking pictures of real places and then alters them with the use of digital programs. Due to the exact reproduction of reality and clear composition, the pictures fascinate and at the same time puzzle and irritate with their artificiality and construction. In most cases, she intervenes at the point where human intervention in the landscape is most clearly shown. But unlike conspicuous human interventions in nature, the artist makes her modifications so fine and balanced, that the impression of a completely artificial world does not arise. The subtle changes in the artworks elaborate the motif of people’s intrusion into the natural world and discreetly lead into a composition in which the changes in the landscape differ only gradually from a real picture of the site. The presence of humans is indicated in every one of her artworks but you will never see an actual human being in her photographs. The artist prefers to indicate their presence trough an array of objects and constructions created and use by people.
Sandra Senn’s collaboration with Voss art gallery resulted in numerous art fair exhibitions
Important Events and Exhibitions
Since 2011 Sandra Senn creates an array of nautically inspired photographs. Just like other artworks from the previous series her photographs of the ship also evoke the presence of humans. The closed up ships of Sandra Senn’s may appear motionless and dumb but on a second glance, you’ll realize that they are in fact drifting on the endless ocean of indestructible longing, without any striking information about its drivers whose destiny was determined by the sea. On wide seas, far from civilization, where, a few last gulls follow, those who, if they were asked, would never be exposed to the hardships of the sea, are driving with themselves and the waves towards an uncertain future. Her latest Flüchtiges Getriebe series is comprised of photographs, that represent human tangible creations that are left to the mercy of natural forces. But rather than evoking the sense of decay her imagery conveys the feeling of tranquility as banal and house-like ships and buildings get juxtaposed against beautiful and mighty ocean and sand. Apart from her fascinating landscape photography the artist also works in the medium of installation. She was a participant of numerous exhibitions including shows at Voss gallery, Centre pour l’ image Contemporaine in Geneve, Berliner Liste art fair in Berlin and Photo-London art fair.
Sandra Senn currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Baden, Switzerland.
Anonimys. Biography, Sandra Senn Official Website, [November 13, 2016]
Stegmann M. The Infinite in the Finite, Catalog, Urban Museums Jena, 2015
Featured image: Artwork from the Home series by Sandra Senn
Images courtesy of Galerie Voss