“Artefakte und Modelle” by Lena Amuat and Zoë Meyer is a collection of objects that embody the human struggle for knowledge. Over twelve years in the making and numbering hundreds of images, the project inventories the models, artifacts, natural specimen and teaching objects that the two women have unearthed traveling to search through the archives and collections of European universities and natural history museums.

However, with information and provenance entirely exorcised from the titles of their images, we are left knowing almost nothing factual about each of the photographed items: not the collection they belong to or the place of that archive; nor when they date from, who made or found them or how they came to be collected; nor any explanation as to the ideas, theories and natural laws that each of the models apparently embodies. Instead, they are left to communicate through the power of their visual identity alone.

Each of the selected objects is treated to the artists’ mobile photo studio where they are posed in front of colored paper backdrops (sometimes assembled with other items, but most often standing alone), seductively lit and skilfully shot. Going against the surge of digital, the Swiss duo embraces analog and the “hand-made” – from dark-room printing to carefully prepared color backdrops and hand-painted frames that they build themselves.

Dutch art historian Flor Linckens calls it “a series of enigmatic and decontextualized objects that are given a new life” and in her review of the work in the summer of 2022, she writes: “Elements from science, advertising, religion, art and nature are isolated and combined effortlessly in what could be described as encyclopedic cabinets of curiosities. In the work of Amuat and Meyer, the past and the present enter into a new relationship.”

Lena Amuat (*1977) & Zoë Meyer (*1975) live and work in Zurich and Berlin. They both graduated from the University of the Arts in Zurich and collaborate since 2008. The book to the series “Artefakte und Modelle” was published by About Books, Zürich in 2021.

Robert Voit The Alphabet of New Plants

Archive Berlin 2020 - 2010

Ron Jude Lick Creek Line
Orri Interiors
jedentag Fotografische Alltagsbeobachtungen von Andy Sewell, Peter Puklus und Peter de Ru
SCHWARZWEISS Zeitgenössische Positionen in der Schwarz-Weiß-Fotografie
Okko Oinonen On Top of The Iceberg. Intellectual Exiles
fotoform Deutsche Fotografie der 50er Jahre
Enver Hirsch Menschen Tiere Sensationen
Andy Scholz Fotografie 2002-2006
Wolf Böwig Fotoarbeiten 1995-2005
Michael Melcer Milch and Hering Jewish Food Shops in New York

Archive Hamburg 2016 - 2004