Prof. Johanna Diehl
Johanna Diehl was appointed professor of photography at the Würzburg Design Faculty in 2019. Central to her teaching is the understanding that images and image-making have the potential to know the world, and that photography has its own form of thinking. And that it must also involve one’s own attitude, an ethics of image-making – particularly in times of increasing populism – and the ‘unreasonable’ requirement not to simplify but to picture the complexity of reality.
The artist and photographer Johanna Diehl is motivated among other things by the question of how power is reflected in spaces. Her search has taken her to the traumas of European history, to political decisions and historic upheavals. With the large-format camera she relates ideology to propaganda, politics to failure, and finally conflates them into a complex image of reality. She is usually concerned with the question of the memory and identity of present-day Europe; recent series foreground biographical references to her own family.
Johanna Diehl studied photography and visual art at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig with Prof. Timm Rautert and Boris Mikhailov, studying for her MA with Prof. Tina Bara, then at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts Paris with Christian Boltanski and Jean-Marc Bustamante. Her work has been exhibited at exhibitions in Germany and abroad (Bucerius Kunst Forum Hamburg; Anderson Gallery, Buffalo/NY; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe; Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow; Akademie der Künste Berlin; Paris Photo/Grand Palais, Paris; Kaunas Biennale, Lithuania; Haus am Waldsee, Berlin) and is represented in the Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Ann und Jürgen Wilde Foundation, the DZ Bank Art Collection, the Augsburg Collections and Museums, the Bavarian Art Collections, the Pinakothek der Moderne. Johanna Diehl has received numerous awards and grants, most recently a nomination from the Villa Aurora, Los Angeles; a working grant from the Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (EHF), Robert-Bosch-Stiftung (Grenzgänger), Deutschen Akademie Rom Villa Massimo (Casa Baldi), Deutscher Fotobuchpreis, silver; Capital Cultural Fund. Her monographs include In den Falten das Eigentliche (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König), Eurotopians (with Niklas Maak, HIRMER Verlag), Ukraine Series (Sieveking Verlag), Borgo. Romanità. Alleanz (Hatje Cantz), Displace (Edition Fotohof).
Previous teaching formats (selection): “(Re-)Thinking Photography: Narrative Strategien”, “Bilder in Zeiten des Zorns – Populismus und Fotografie” (Interdisziplinäres Projekt Fotografie/Theorie/Philosophie, in Kooperation mit Dr. Judith-Frederike Popp; “Work hard play dirty – Verknüpfung von Spiel und Arbeit”, “Grid Square” u.a.
In addition, Diehl 2021 led the RAY MASTERCLASS as part of RAY 2021 IDEOLOGIEN (International Triennial of Artistic Photography in Frankfurt/Rhine-Main) with selected students from the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, the Hochschule Darmstadt, the Kunsthochschule Mainz and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule Frankfurt/Main, and realized with them the exhibition “Essays of Undoing” at the Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt.