Pauline Zenk

Artist and illustrator, she obtained a Master of Visual Arts, History, and English Literature from the University Christian – Albrechts – Universitaet, Kiel, and the Muthesius Academy of Arts Kunsthochschule Kiel, Germany.

She studied Visual Arts and followed a master’s degree course in painting at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy of Arts, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She studied Latin American history at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid Ciudad University, Spain.

She was awarded the scholarship “Freemover” by the Academy of Fine Arts, the Muthesius Kiel Germany and Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her work is in the collection of the Academy of Fine Arts, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel in the hall for new media. (*)

She was artist in residence in the “Drawing Center Taller 7” ( ) in Medellin | Colombia, in “Estudio Lamina” in Sao Paulo | Brazil, and “Les Ateliers du Plessix-Madeuc” (, Corseul (Bretagne) | France, where she researched the collective visual memory of the regions, using Photography and Public/Private Archives as starting points.

Since 2012 Pauline Zenk works in the field of interdisciplinary artistic research projects combining history and art.

Her research is based around the notion of the collective memory. She investigates which images we retain as part of our collective memory, and which images are lost or newly interpreted. Using the traditional mediums of paint and drawing she questions our relation to photographs as part of our collective and cultural memories.

By (re-)working images in paint or drawing she is researching the impact an image can still have today in our image-dominated culture.

She researches and finds these images in archives, museums or private collections. By painting and drawing the found images she reveals the psychological, social and political meaning of the images, often mixing the personal and the political, pointing to the intersection between the history of great events and small men in her depiction and choice of images.

Her work often deals with found imagery (as in magazine ads, TV Screen shots, antique newspapers and old photographs) and deals with the notions of body – portrait – identity as well as the aspects of public versus private and the commercialization of the body; the works in their conjunction – create a dialogue between photography, digital culture and traditional painting.

She often works in the format of artistic research projects which have a cross-cultural and/or regional focus. By visually exploring and re-interpreting cultural and collective memory she reflects on and questions the concept and creation of social and cultural identity.

She is currently researching the interrelationships between portrait, memory and identity in Europe.

Since january 2015, she is working and living in Toulouse, France.

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