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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. To date her works have taken the form of installation, moving image, photography, archive materials and text providing multiple vantage points from which to trace their entanglements. Current areas of research involve investigations into the geopolitics of media and communications infrastructure as forms of extrastatecraft and the militarisation of the ocean; both feeding into ongoing questions about the role of images in looking, evidencing and witnessing thresholds of (in)visible power and violence.
Alongside these 'subject-matters', Kern is keen to address pertinent questions of how to create (be) the resilient, playful and subversive aesthetic practice under current conditions of neoliberal authoritarian capitalism.
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, BFI, Arts Council England and most recently an international 54th October Salon Award, from the Cultural Centre Belgrade.
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)