Birthe Piontek’s practice encompasses an extensive investigation of the self through photography. While focusing primarily on portrait photography, she also creates still lifes, installations and uses found photography as ways to further experiment with the expressions of identity. Piontek’s Lying Still series began as a visual diary that would accompany the artist through her daily life, capturing peripheral subjects of the ephemeral and abject. The artist’s compositions – that may at first appear as delicate disruptions of the everyday – address themes of intimacy and mortality through her photographic language of rich symbolic iconography, evoking the desires, urges and fears that exist latently in our subconscious.
BIRTHE PIONTEK moved to Canada in 2005 after obtaining an MFA from the University of Essen in Communication Design and Photography. Piontek has taken part in exhibitions internationally, including the Hyeres Fashion and Photography Festival, France, 2014; Venice Arsenale, 2010, and Park Avenue Armory, New York City, 2009. Her series The Idea of North – the result of a three-month residency in Yukon – won Photolucida’s Critical Mass Book Award 2009, and was published as a monograph in 2011. Piontek’s work has appeared in international publications such as Le Monde, Die Zeit and The New Yorker. Her work is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and the Museum of Applied Arts, Gera, Germany.