Lines Fiction: you connect your minimal drawing style to sculpture and architectural themes, as well as to film and life stories…
Daniela Ehemann: When I was a child, my parents moved a lot. Every new house and new surroundings confronted me with another space again. So from early on I developed a higher sensibility for such a situation, and I started questioning the relation of space and identity.
Continuing my journey, I then developed my minimal style as you call it.
In my work I examine the subject using multiple media. But my practice mainly concentrates in the use of drawing and installation including time as the 4th dimension, which plays an important role for me. Time as presented through time based media, with their fluctuating, changing ways of exploring visual perception. In my installations I work with shadows, trying to remap the physical and conceptual space the work occupies.
Lines Fiction: …and in ‘Missing Link’ you enter the homes of missing persons to make drawings?
Daniela Ehemann: Yes for my project ‘Missing Link’ I entered the homes of missing persons to make drawings, I got the permission to do so by the police. Unbelievable that there are around 1400 persons missing every year, just in Berlin alone.
In this work I focused on the search of a personal identity, expected to be mirrored directly or indirectly through the belongings of the missing tenant. I started with the analysis of what I came across, like an open drawer or a used cup on the kitchen table, to find out who they where and why they left. Finally I had to deal with the insight that the imagination of identity always is lined by truth and error, as well as reality and fiction.
In this project I transferred the outlines of my drawings into sculptural objects for an installation.
Lines Fiction: in your filmclip ‘Home’ you interview residents of Lichtenberg in Berlin about their living environment. You are using a very spare drawing style to underline their voices. How do you see drawing and animation in the context of your work?
Daniela Ehemann: Animation for me is another time capsula, in reference to video or film as time based media. Similar to my drawings on paper, the line develops step by step into space, trying to gain reality. Reality, in this case, is connected to the idea of a home. In the drawing it is symbolized through the simple form of the ‘Nikolaushaus’ (house of St Nicholas), a kids play, in which a house on paper is formed of 8 lines, not drawing a line twice with the pen.
The interviews with the residents living in the modernist ‘Plattenbauten’ in Lichtenberg, Berlin, connect their personal search for a perfect home to the era of modernism, where the pure and functional was seen to be the ideal of a home.
The simplicity of the presentation, the stagnant movement, it´s pure clumsiness, shows in itself the simplistic process of making a drawing, and goes back to the origins of frame-by-frame-animation.
‘Home’ becomes an absurd play in the context of the search for a perfect home.