Annett Zinsmeister


Born in 1967, Stuttgart.
Lives and works in Berlin.

Artist Statement

A majority of my collages and installations are based on my photographs of architecture in urban spaces all over the world. I am using these photographs as pictorial elements for spatial collages. Through this process the images oscillate between document and artifact. The use of different media, experiments with modular principles, deconstruction and re-composition, are some fundamental strategies in my art practice.

I am interested in the meaning of architecture and space, and in the history, tradition, and innovation, the social and political background and structure of spatial constructions. I am interested in the origins and forms of everyday rituals, their effects, and forces of habit. I am fascinated by places of transition, places with a certain past and uncertain future.

I am creating large scale installations, conceptual and built spaces, photography, drawings, films, collages and texts. I am merging research with conceptual and visual art practice that has an extra-ordinary effect: the installations and pieces have an immersive impact on the viewer.

As opposed to purely conceptual art, my works are effective (wirken) on an aesthetic level. The art historian Beat Wyss called my installations “sublime” in Edmund Burke’s sense, since to an extreme degree they exercise a strong effective power (Wirkungsmacht) on the observer. In the first moment of observation, the intellectual and conceptual background of the work does not play a large role. The work takes effect – it stands for itself. A closer look, however, reveals an internal density which determines the work of art, and in which the observer can enter and sink into – yet does not have to.

My installations serve as experimental “perception machines” cause they challenge human perception and unexceptional habits

Work Description

I have been fascinated by the history of panorama as a machine of perception. The idea to realize an installation in turning the outside (facade) into a room or inner space came up in the late nineties. I began to design a wallpaper series with Plattenbau facades and started to melt exterior and interior in creating wallpaper installations and projections in different spaces;

I wanted to create an experimental and sensual space, an extreme and pure space where this architecture’s serial aspects could simultaneously unfold the cruelty of endless repetition and the aesthetics of the minimal. The oscillation between restricted monotony and the fascinating beauty of a structural and serial pattern made the work into a tightrope walk for the visitor who often found himself or herself between two extreme effects.

The tremendously immersive space installations called virtual interiors can be experienced in different ways: as a real space installation or an illuminated picture, as a play with the intersection of real space experience and virtual space impression and the construction of spatial representation. This visual and spatial experience is a tightrope walk between fascination and irritation, between insecurity and marvel, between attraction and rejection.

Monograph: Annett Zinsmeister. Searching for Identity (2012). Published by Jovis Verlag, Berlin

Public Collections

MoMA Museum of Modern Art New York / USA, Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum Hagen / Germany, NBK Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Germany, Architekturgalerie Berlin / Germany, Deutscher Bundestag zu Berlin / Germany

Prizes / Grants

Schlesinger-Stiftung, Switzerland 2018, Villa Lena, artist-in-residence, Italy 2017, Cité des Arts Internationale de Paris, France 2015, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany 2005 / 07, Schlesinger-Stiftung, Switzerland 2001, Art Prize ring, Switzerland 2000