Gundula Friese



Born in 1959 in Magdeburg, currently living in Berlin.

Gundula Friese studied photography at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig as well as Sound and Video design at the Berlin Academy of Digital Media. Her work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions. Gundula Friese was drawn to photography early in life. A portrait showing a young boy led to a key moment:
He was around eleven years old, the same age as I was then. He stood in the midst of a bleak cityscape, serenely looking into the camera. The image both confused and calmed me, in equal measure. It was a condition of inner agitation. I felt seen and recognized. But wasn’t it I who was looking, gazing at a young boy in a picture? I remembered then that I wanted to take photographs. 
From 1999 to 2001 Gundula Friese worked as a photographer for the State Office of Criminal Investigation in Berlin. She spent two years documenting crime scenes, postmortems, injuries, perpetrators and victims. She learnt that pictures are not only taken with the camera but are absorbed by the photographer also – an experience that has influenced her world view ever since. Friese’s portraits of people and places, which take the form of single images as well as series, photographic cycles and videos, are the result of her cautious approach to and persistent observation of the world. She makes connections and interrelations visible so that she and we who look at her work are part of it.
Friese’s work is a quest through time and through the world. Tiefblau (deep blue – 2003-2007), a cycle of analog photographs and video pieces on the ocean, led her around the Iberian peninsula through the Pyrenees, from the Spanish to the Portuguese coast. To Friese, the camera at times is a scientific instrument: by using it to scan the outside world, she traces the counterparts to her inner images and pieces them together as in a mosaic.

AWARDS | Recognitions

2014 Artist in Residence, Schloss Werdenberg festival, Switzerland
2013 “The Musician, The Painter, The Designer and The
One who is still searching” NYC Dokumentarfilm 45 min
2012 „View York Nine Perceptions”
a group show curated by °CLAIR for German-American Institute Tübingen and Freiburg
Social Photofest Perugia di VILLA FIDELIA Perugia
Social Photofest Piombino, Italien
2011 “View York Nine Perceptions”, a group show curated by °CLAIR – °CLAIR Galerie München2010 M A U E R F Ä L L E & EAST – Zu Protokoll / For the Record, Frankfurt am Main
2009 “East for the record“ Museum of Fine Art und Museum of Contemporary Art, group show, Leipzig
Pavilhao. 28, Espaco Expositivo do Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátri, group show, Lisbon
Istanbul Next Wave, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
2008 „my grandmother. the steppe. my love. the ocean”
Fotografien und Videoarbeiten, Lissabon
„The Combinatione Arrabbiatica”
mit Axel Heil u. Uwe Lindau, Lissabon
2007 Arte Lisboa Fotografien/Video, Lissabon
Fotografien Galerie Jordanow, München
2006 “me and the ocean Fotografien/Videoarbeiten”
at Yoyo Friedrich, New York

2013 Sammlung Ostdeutsche Fotografie, Gabriele Koenig, Aachen, Germany
2009 East for the record“ Neue Fotografische Sammlung VNG, Germany
2008 “Lichtung” Fotografische Sammlung des Museum Neuköln, Germany
2000 FreeLens Layout Preis, Berlin for „das Team“, Germany
1998 Erster europäischer Fotografinnenpreis ‘97/98,
Dryphoto – Arte contemporanea, Prato/Italy
PhotoEspana`98, Award Agfa best Portfolio, Madrid, Spain
1996/97 Goldrausch, Künstlerinnenprojekt, Berlin, Germany
1995 Kunstpreis Brandenburg, Brandenburg, Germany
1993 Arbeitsstipendium Stiftung Kulturfonds, Berlin, Germany
1990 Kunstpreis Neukölln für „Schillerpromenade“, Berlin, Germany
Photographische Sammlung, Museum Neukölln, Berlin, Germany


(a selection)
2011 “View York“ Nine Perceptions, Kerberverlag, Bielefeld
2010 M A U E R F Ä L L E & EAST – Zu Protokoll /
For the Record, Steidl verlag, Göttingen
2001 der letzte Limes, Walther König Verlag, Köln
2001 das Team, Walther König Verlag, Köln
1998 Imago ‘98, Katalog, Salamanca
Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, Spanien
1998 I luoghi della vita, Katalog, Comeana,
Villa Le Farnete, Italien
1997 Waschhaus, eine Garnisionswaschanstalt, Berlin
1996 Gesten, Walther König Verlag, Köln