Margareta Kern is a visual artist whose practice references both the documentary and experimental modes of image making, often drawing on her personal history shaped by migration and conflict. Her work is developed from rigorous research, theoretical enquiry and a range of visual strategies that respond to urgent political questions and contexts. To date her works have taken the form of video, photography, installation, drawing, performance-lecture, as well as (occasional) critical text.
Current work is tracing thresholds of visibility of unstated forms of power and authority that shape global geopolitics through digital, military and affective infrastructures. This is manifesting through a multi-faceted research into a militarisation of the ocean and littoral zones, colonial history of undersea Internet cables and ideological roots of technological 'neutrality' enabling an unimpeded rise of a right-wing discourse. The resulting works (in progress) are testing the potentialities and limits of fiction as an already existing political and aesthetic imaginary that is being queered through a work of art.
(Please drop me a line if you'd like to find out more about my current work).
Kern holds BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and MA in Visual Anthropology, UCL. Her work has been presented across international gallery and educational contexts, including Tate Modern, The Photographers Gallery (London), Whitechapel Gallery (London), Spacex (Exeter), SC Gallery (Zagreb), Impressions Gallery (Bradford), INIVA (London), Shedhalle (Zurich), Photomonth Krakow, Muscarnok (Budapest) and many others. Kern is a recipient of several project grants and awards, including from the National Media Museum, the British Film Institute and in 2013 an international 54th October Salon Award, from the Cultural Centre Belgrade. Most recently Kern was awarded an Arts Council England Project Grant for a new body of work, starting with the commission for Whitstable Biennale in June 2018, and continuing with an artist-in-residence programme at Birkbeck School of Law in 2018-2019.
Margareta Kern teaches photography at Falmouth University's Institute of Photography.
Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kern has been based in the UK since 1992. She currently lives in Cornwall and London.
"Art intervenes between technology and fundamental survival not by proving technology so dangerous it must be extirpated, not by conceding it is so powerful that it is the best medium through which to comprehend our condition, but by constantly embodying the difference between the cultural realm and the technological realm. Technology can be perceived for all its limitations relative to the cultural realities it denies. If the arts do not insist that technology be perceived as a found object, malleable, revisable, unfinished, culture will have abdicated its power."
Jeanne Randolph, Influencing Machines: The Relationship Between Art and Technology (1984)