Meike Kenn 

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CV Meike Kenn (*1975) was a master student of Arno Fischer at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie and attended the Lette School in Berlin. She has already taken part in numerous exhibitions; her current solo exhibition at the Volksbühne can be seen until the end of the 20/21 season. In autumn 2020 her campaign for the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna will be shown in the cityscape of the Austrian capital. Her portraits of visual artists* and actors* are regularly featured in commissioned magazines like Monopol, der Freitag or Missy Magazin.  



Meike Kenn came into contact with photography as a child and was fascinated by the decision-making process and the sovereign meaning it granted her perspective. The camera is both shield and instrument of extraction. Already then, her focus is clear—more than anything else, she would photograph people. With a small detour via journalism, she again embraces photography in Berlin and becomes one of the first students at the newly oriented Lette School. Afterward, she attends Arno Fischer’s master-class at the Ostkreuzschule, who emphasizes the humanistic value of photography in his teaching. This is also reflected in Kenn’s three-part work, "Rauschen" ("Noise"), a very personal examination of young people in their familiar and intimate environments. The title comes from the scientific discovery that in the child's brain, "... there is a proper noise, which slowly decreases during the rebuilding phase adolescence, nerve cells synchronize better, stronger, and low-noise signals are generated". (Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews: Larsen & Luna, 2018).

Anyone who lives with young people will know how crazy this elementary restructuring of the brain sometimes manifests itself in everyday life. Kenn lives in her patchwork family with three teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16. In documentary observations and regular portrait sessions, she draws a complex picture of the emotional world and the rapid changes taking place on all levels. These days, she is preoccupied with the statements of developmental psychologists and neuroscientists who attach fundamental importance to the urge of young people to occasionally freak out and take significant risks to fully develop and mature. The Corona crisis is a severe disruption in the lives of the adolescents who are unable to move freely (further) and are once again thrown back into familiar constraints. In her three pictures, Meike Kenn traces this feeling of freedom and the urge to rebel and move.

Text: Barbara Green, Photo: Adam Naparty