Artist Statement


In my artwork, I investigate the relationship humans have with their environment in urban places and in cultural and natural landscapes through photography, video, sound, and installation. I combine a wide range of influences from my background as an artist, urban planner, and sociologist to having lived in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. My photographs engage with the socio-political implications of spatial processes by exploring notions of geography, history, race, class, and gender. Even though most of my photographs do not show people directly, they talk about the traces that people have left behind using or passing through these spaces. I am particularly drawn to unusual, derelict, mundane, and often overlooked spaces as these offer a vast area of hidden (local) histories. By exploring these, I offer the viewer insights about spaces they may never visit or simply do not notice. I draw my inspiration from the immediate places where I live. As I have lived in many different places and settings, from rural to suburban to urban in Germany, England, and the U.S., my projects are international but still very site-specific. My practice is research-based and usually has a strong theoretical foundation, which enables me to place my work not only in an art context but also beyond.




 

Bio


Gesche Würfel is a visual artist and Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA), an MA in Photography and Urban Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London (UK), and a diploma in Spatial Planning from the Technical University Dortmund (Germany).

Her work has been exhibited, published, and awarded internationally; exhibition venues include the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY (USA), Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) Raleigh, NC (USA); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MA, (USA); Tate Modern (UK); Goldsmiths, University of London (UK); Cornerhouse Manchester (UK); Kokerei Zollverein (Germany). She is currently exhibiting her work in solo exhibitions at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN (USA) and GreenHill in Greenboro, NC (USA).

Würfel is the author of Basement Sanctuaries (Schilt Publishing 2014). She is a recipient of grants from the Puffin Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and others. Würfel was named as the Juror’s Pick for the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016, is a finalist in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Lange-Taylor Award, and a Top 50 Critical Mass 2017 winner. Collecting institutions are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Museum, MA (USA) and the Portland Museum of Art, OR (USA).






Download my resume here!



Resume


EDUCATION

2015 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, MFA Studio Art

2006 Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, M.A. Photography & Urban Cultures

2003 University of Dortmund, Germany, Diploma Spatial Planning



GRANTS / FELLOWSHIPS /
AWARDS / RESIDENCIES

2019 Shortlist, Felix-Schoeller Photography Prize, Germany

2019 Finalist, Lange-Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA


2019 Faculty Residency, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, USA 

2019 JCME Faculty EU Research and Travel Award, Center for European Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA 

2019 Travel Grant, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2018 Finalist, Lange-Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

2018 Excellent Artistic Creativity Photographer Award, Camel Ring on Silk Road ”Naiman International Photo Festival”, China

2018 Grant, Puffin Foundation, Teaneck, NJ, USA

2018 2x Faculty Research Grant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2017 Critical Mass Top 50, Photo Lucida, Portland, OR, USA

2017 Finalist, Lange-Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

2017 The Fifth New York Portfolio Review (organized by The New York Times and the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York, NY), USA

2017 Faculty Research Grant, Department of Art & Art History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2017 Review Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (regretfully declined)

2016 LensCulture 2016 Emerging Talent Awards, Juror’s Pick

2016 Faculty Research Grant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2016 GlogauAIR Residency, Berlin, Germany (regretfully declined)

2015 Regional Emerging Artist Residency, Artspace, Raleigh, NC, USA

2015 The Third New York Times Portfolio Review (organized by The New York Times and the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York, NY), USA

2014 LensCulture 2014 Emerging Talent Awards Top 50 Winner, LensCulture

2014 Two Travel Grants from the Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA  
       
2014 Professional Shortlist Architecture Category, SONY World Photography Awards, London, UK

2013 Finalist, Aperture Portfolio Awards, Aperture Foundation, New York, NY, USA

2013 Critical Mass Top 200, Photo Lucida, Portland, OR, USA

2012 Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant (MCAF), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), New York, NY, USA        

2012 Creative Grant, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), New York, NY, USA

2012 Runner-up, Camera Club New York (CCNY) Darkroom Residency 2013, New York, NY, USA         

2011 Individual Artist Grant, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), New York, NY, USA

2008 Merit, Fujifilm Dinstinctions Award, UK

2007 Bloomberg New Contemporaries, UK                 



SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Upcoming

2019 What Remains of the Day - Memories of World War II, GreenHill, Greensboro, NC, USA 



2019 At the Hands of Persons Unknown, Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, IN, USA


2018 What Remains of the Day - Memories of World War II, Pensacola Museum of Art, FL, USA 

2018 At the Hands of Persons Unknown, Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW), Woodstock, NY, USA

2016 Oppressive Architecture, Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, USA

2016 Oppressive Architecture, Heavy Load-Bearing Body/Museen Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany

2016 Plantation Still Lifes, Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2015 We Still Love Life, The John and June Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2015 Basement Sanctuaries, Gallery 1401, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2014 Basement Sanctuaries, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, USA

2013 Basement Sanctuaries, New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA  

2012 Basement Sanctuaries, Field Projects, New York, NY, USA  
              
2012 Go for Gold! The Underground Gallery, London, UK

2010 Go for Gold! The East London Landscape of the 2012 Olympics, Wolk Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

2010 Go for Gold! The Transformation of the Lower Lea Valley, Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC, USA               
        
2009 Transitory Spaces, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK 

2005 Raumvorstellungen, University of Dortmund, Germany
       
2004 PERSPECTIVES_The Nordmarkt in Words and Images, University of Dortmund and traveling, Germany                    



TWO AND THREE PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2016 Raleigh Redux, Artspace, Raleigh, NC, USA

2012 Habitats, Grady Alexis Gallery at El Taller Latino Americano, New York, NY, USA

2012 Underground. theprintspace, London, UK

2009 A Line Is There To Be Broken, Viewfinder Photography Gallery, London, UK (catalogue)  
   
2008 A Line is There to be Broken, This is not a Gateway (TINAG) Festival, London, UK (publication)



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018
︎ Across County Lines: Contemporary Photography from the Piedmont, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
︎ Picture | Architecture, Photo BaoHe 2018, Hefei, China
︎ In Other Image, When Words Fail. Open Call Showcase 2018. Singapore International Photography Festival, Singapore  
︎ Environmental Conservation, Peace and Development, “Silk Road Camel Bell” 1st Naiman International Photography Festival, Naiman, Inner Mongolia, China

2017
︎ Charting the Invisible, APT Gallery, London, UK (catalogue)
︎ The FENCE, Durham, NC
︎ FRESH 2017, Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (catalogue)
︎ 30th Anniversary Residency Invitational Retrospective, Artspace, Raleigh, NC
︎ Elective Affinities - A Library, 205 Hudson Gallery, Hunter College, New York, NY
︎ LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016, International Center of Photography (ICP) Museum, New York, NY
︎ Urban Memories, Urban Photographers’ Association, Stuart Hall Building at Goldsmiths, University of London / London Architecture Festival, London, UK
︎ Living in the Shadows: Underground Immigrant Communities, Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities, Rutgers University, NJ (catalogue)

2016
︎ Memory and Archive, Urban Photographer’s Annual Exhibition, Lewisham Art House, London, UK
︎ Art + Dialogue: Responding to Racial Tension in America, GreenHill/High Point University, NC

2015
︎ Eureka, The John and June Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA 
︎ Neo-Pre-Proto-Anti-Para-Ultra-Contra-Post-Photography, Spectre Arts, Durham, NC, USA 
︎ 40/40, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, USA
︎ Art + Dialogue: Responding to Racial Tension in America, GreenHill/Greensboro College, NC, USA 
︎ The Land of No Things, Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2014
︎ Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Autumn Art Auction, William Holman Gallery, New York, NY (Invitational)
︎ NUTUREart Benefit, The Boiler, Brooklyn, NY (Invitational)
︎ Contemporary German Photography, The 14th China Pingyao International Photography Festival, China
︎ LensCulture 2014 Emerging Talent Awards Exhibition, Valid Foto, Barcelona, Spain
︎ Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, Somerset House, London, UK

2013
︎ Rising Waters: Photographs of Hurricane Sandy, co-organized by the International Center of Photography and the Museum of the City of New York, Building 19 at Governors Island, New York, NY, USA

2012                             
︎ Adrift - The Unfamiliar Familiar in Modern Society, Galerie Ruberl, Vienna, Austria
︎ Residual Traces, Photofusion, London, UK
︎ FRESH 2012, Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
︎ THE FENCE, Photoville, Brooklyn, NY, USA
︎ Uptown Arts Review - Grantee Show, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), New York, NY, USA

2011
︎ Elephant in a Room, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
︎ Uptown Arts Review - Grantee Show, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), New York, NY, USA

2010
︎ Mixology II: Photography & Photo-based Work, Curator’s Office, Washington, DC, USA 

2009
︎ Olympic Visions, The Nunnery Gallery, London, UK
︎ RePlace, Ada Street Gallery, London, UK

2007
︎ Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2007, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall; Rochelle School, London; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (catalogue)                                     ︎ Foundations, [space], London, UK

2006
︎ M.A. Thesis Exhibition No Right Turn, Village Underground, London, UK                 
︎ Tor 38, Kokerei Zollverein, Essen, Germany
︎ The Elephant Vanishes, Tate Modern, London, UK             

2003
︎ Phoenix_werke. Kunst in der Zwischenzeit, Phoenix-West, Dortmund, Germany (catalogue)



URBAN INTERVENTIONS

2016 Les Livres-Lieux, Basement Sanctuaries, Montreal, CA (with Adaptive Actions)

2009 2070B, Olympic Fence, London, UK (in collaboration with Jean-François Prost)

2006 Flowers for Heygate, London, UK



CURATORIAL PROJECTS

2018 I Be Person I No Be Number, The John and June Allcott Gallery, University of Nort Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel  Hill, NC (with Prof. Carol Magee, Makiah Belk, Uche Okpa-Iroha and The Nlele Institute, Lagos, Nigeria) as part of the For Freedoms initiative

2017 Developing Landscapes, The John and June Allcott Gallery, University of Nort Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel  Hill, NC (with Prof. Jina Valentine, Mika Conradie and The Market Photo Workshop, South Africa)


       

SELECTED REVIEWS | BIBLIOGRAPHY | PUBLICATIONS

2019

︎ Scott D. Yost “GreenHill Exhibit Celebrates 75th Anniversary Of WWII”, Rhino Times, 08/22/2019
︎“GreenHill Celebrates 75th anniversary of World War II through photography exhibition”, Yes! Weekly, 08/19/2019

︎ Aline Smithson, “Gesche Würfel: What Remains of the Day - Memories of World War II”, LENSCRATCH, 01/25/2019


2018
︎ Sam Smith, “(Over) Exposure Is Key”, inweekly, 12/12/2018
︎ Marcus Cheong, “Conversations with Photographers. What Remains of the Day - Memories of World War II, Gesche Würfel (United States)”, DECK Journal, November 2018: 30-31
︎ Interview with Antonio Flores-Lobos “Gesche Würfel; Her photo exhibition in Woodstock”, Radio Kingston, 08/29/2018
︎ Paul Smart, “Two shows at CPW”, Woodstock Times, 08/23/2018, p. 9
︎ Zwaka, Petra, “Geschichtsquartier Südkreuz. Historische Orte im Spannungsfeld zwischen Bewahren, Erinnern und Vermitteln”, In: Bezirksamt Tempelhof-Schöneberg (ed.) Zwischen City West und Dorfanger. Stadtentwicklungsplanung in Tempelhof-Schöneberg 1990-2020. Berlin: Stadtentwicklungsamt, 210-224.
︎ Draženka Jalšić Ernečić, “Critical Mass Top 2017 - A Drive back to the TOP 50”, LinkedIn, online, 05/22/2018

2017
︎ Jeff Rich, “What Remains”. Eyes on the South. Oxford American, online, 10/23/2017
︎ Winifred Chiocchia, “Awards: Gesche Würfel. What Remains of the Day - 71 Years After the End of World War II”, LensCulture (online), 1/27/2017

2016
︎ Andrea Blanch, “Gesche Würfel, Musee Emerging Artist”, Musee Magazine, no. 15
︎ Brian Howe, “Caitlin Cary & Gesche Würfel: Raleigh Redux”. INDYweek
︎ Tom Mustroph, “Schwere Hinterlassenschaft”, taz, 8/11/2016
︎ no author, “Tagesthemen. Oppressive Architecture”, Radio Berlin Brandenburg, 6/23/3016
︎ Dietmar Buehrer, ”Gesche Würfel »Oppressive Architecture«“, Brennpunkt Magazin, 3/2016

2015
︎ Elizabeth Avedon, “The New Tork Times Portfolio Reviews. Day 1“, L’oeil de la Photographie
︎ Frank Stasio, “The Land of No Things”, The State of Things-WUNC  ︎ Brian Howe, “We Still Love Life - Pick of the Week”, INDYweek
︎ Caitlin Schneider “How to see... Beauty in a Basement”, mental_floss

2014
︎ Jordan G. Teicher, “The Hidden Beauty of New York City’s Basements”, Slate
︎ Eve Kahn, “Decorator Underground”, The New York Times
︎ Amy Wolff, “Basement Sanctuaries - Photo of the Day”, PDN Online
︎ Alan Feuer, “The Lairs of Super Men”, The New York Times
︎ Oliver Atwell, “Basement Sanctuaries”, Amateur Photographer

2013
︎ Pete Brook, “Photographer Finds Cockatiels, Jesus in NYC Basements”, WIRED
︎ Julianne Welby, “One New York Artist: Photographer Gesche Würfel”. WNYC-New York Public Radio
︎ Eva Dewes, “Die Individualisierung der Welt. Neue Positionen der Fotografie bei Ruberl in Wien”, Parnass

2012
︎ Jordan Davidson, “Uptown’s Underground Spaces to be Featured in Chelsea Art Show”, DNAinfo.com
︎ “Go for Gold!”, London - Olympia Issue, StadtBauwelt
︎ “Go for Gold!”, Olympics Special Issue, Visual Studies      
︎ Wei Yu, “2012 Olympics Feature”, ARTCO   
 
2011
︎ Entretien avec Brian Massumi avec Marie-Pier Boucher et Jean-François Prost, “Fragments d’action pour la ville”, INTER. Art Actuel

2010
︎ Louis Jacobson, “City Light This Week’s Best. Gesche Würfel: Go for Gold! at Civilian Art Projects”, Washington City Paper
︎ The Pink Line Project, “Salon Contra: Go For Gold! with Gesche Wuerfel and Al Miner”, (online video)              
2009  
︎ “Gesche Wuerfel”, In: New Museum (ed.), Younger Than Jesus: The Artist Directory. New York: New Museum and Phaidon, 519.
︎ Peter D. Osborne, “The Unreachable Landscape: Some Themes in Photography in England 1990 to 2007”, Cahier Fotografie #2

2007
︎ Bytheway, Bev and Eileen Daly (eds.), Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2007 Catalogue. London: New Contemporaries [1988] Ltd. (exhibition catalogue without pagination)    


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AS AUTHOR

2018
︎ “Gesche Würfel, Basement Sanctuaries”, In: Square Magazine, Issue 903, October 2018: pp. 68-78.

2017
︎ “What Remains of the Day - 71 Years After the End of World War II”, In: LensCulture (2017) Best of Lensculture 2016 (plus back cover), pp.152-55.

2015
“Basement stories: the underground shrines of Manhattan supers – in pictures”, The Guardian

2014
︎ Basement Sanctuaries, Schilt Publishing (Essay by Fabian Goncalvez Borrega, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC)
                                    
2013
︎ “Basement Sanctuaries”, In: Boucher, Marie-Pier; Dufresne, Jean-Maxime; Melgar, Gema and Jean-François Prost (eds.), Heteropolis, 276-281.                 
︎ “Go for Gold! Story of the Week”, Foto8. July 26, 2012. Online.
︎ “Go for Gold!”, StadtBauwelt, London - Olympia Issue, June 2012: 12-19
︎“Go for Gold!”, Visual Studies, Olympics Special Issue, June 2012 (Vol. 27 No.2): 141-147.

2012
︎ Go for Gold!, The Velvet Cell (exhibition catalogue) (Essay by Peter D. Coles, London College of Communication, UK) 
︎ “Go for Gold!”, In: Isaac Marrero-Guillamón and Powell, Hilary (eds.), The Art of Dissent, Marshgate Press, 2012: 136-39
︎ “Basement Sanctuaries”, In: PlanerIn. Fachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung   
           
2011
︎ “Basement Sanctuaries. Story of the Week”, Foto8. September 21, 2011. Online.

2010
︎ “Fotografie und Stadtplanung: Olympische Spiele 2012”, PlanerIn. Fachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung, Volume 2: 28-30.

2009
︎ “2070B”, In: Prost, Jean-Francois (ed.), Adaptive Actions, SPACE: London, 38-41.
︎ with David Kendall and Tristan Fennell “A line is there to be broken. Conversation with Prof. Caroline Knowles”, Critical Cities. Ideas, Knowledge and Agitation from Emerging Urbanists. Volume 1, London: Myrdle Court Press, 62-75.                               
2008
︎ “Farewell from the Garden Paradise” (2008), In: London Independent Photography London Independent Photography Magazine, Summer 2008, No. 9, London, 8-11.



ARTIST LECTURES + TALKS

2019
︎ GreenHill, NC, USA (upcoming)
︎ Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, IN, USA
︎ 2x Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, FL, USA
︎ Visiting Artist, University of West Florida, USA

2018
︎ Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY

2017
︎ Podbielski Galerie, Berlin, Germany
︎ Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities, Rutgers University, NJ, USA

2016
︎ 2x Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, USA
︎ Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
︎ Heavy Load-Bearing Body / Schwerbelastungskörper, Berlin, Germany

2015
︎ Artspace, Raleigh, NC, USA
︎ Spectre Arts, Durham, NC, USA
︎ GreenHill/Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC, USA
︎ John and June Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA

2014
︎ Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, USA
︎ plus Book Signing, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
︎ plus Book Signing, Power Plant Gallery, Durham, NC, USA (regretfully declined)
︎ plus Book Signing, Word Up, New York, NY, USA (in conversation with Joanna Castro, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance)   ︎ Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA (in conversation with Prof. William Ferris, CSAS, UNC-CH)
︎ NY Photo Salon, New York, NY, USA (regretfully declined)

2013
︎ New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA (in conversation with Jaime Permuth, Faculty, School of Visual Arts)        

2012
︎ Field Projects, New York, NY, USA (in conversation with Diana Caba, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance)
︎ The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), New York, NY, USA

2011  
︎ The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA)/Word Up Bookstore, New York, NY, USA 

2010
︎ Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA
︎ Corcoran College of Art+Design, Washington, DC, USA

2009
︎ Visiting Artist: Lecture and Graduate Critiques, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
︎ Yale University/muf architects, London, UK

2008
︎ Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK

2007
︎ [space]/Goldsmiths, London, UK

2005
︎ University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

2004
︎ University of Dortmund, Dortmund, German

2003
︎ University of Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany



PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Museum, Cambridge, MA, USA

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR, USA