Solo artist 2021

Ute Behrend

Back To Nature

When I was bored at a rented holiday home one summer, a bath mat caught my eye. It was the type you put in the tub
to avoid slipping.

It was composed of many small transparent plastic pieces intended to mimic pebbles. “Oh,” I thought, “in the bathtub
you should feel as if you are lying in a stream where you can see and feel the pebbles. Beautiful, clean stones in clear water”.

It seemed to me a little absurd to satisfy the longing for nature in this way, while nature is being destroyed all over
the world. With this artistic project, I attempt to bring the artificially-created nature to the living and real nature—
transferring ordinary everyday objects, which are imitations of plants, stones and animals, to places where one would
expect their real pendants.

They become a symbol for “that which remains” when everything else has been destroyed, rather like androids that
develop their own self awareness. Not knowing that they are simulacra, they raise the same questions that preoccupy
all of us: Where do I come from? Where should I go? How much time do I still have? – Ute Behrend


Ute Behrend (b. 1961, Germany) is a Cologne-based artist, publisher, lecturer, editor and member of the German
Photography Academie (DFA). She is the co-founder of Bummbumm Books and has published five monographs. After
studying photography in Dortmund she published her first book “Girls some Boys and Other Cookies.” Her latest work “Back to Nature” was nominated for the Merck Prize in 2020. Her works have been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions extensively in Germany but also in Austria, Israel, Iceland, Finland, Georgia, Italy, as well as in the United Kingdom and United States. Her works also feature in private and public collections in Germany.