Dorothée Elisa Baumann is a conceptual cross-media artists working in Biel Bienne, Switzerland.
In her artistic practice, she works with founded images, slogans, meta-texts and captions as well the collective memory through historical references. The protocol and script is one of her essential element in her work, which she challenges.
She deconstructs, breaks out and brings texts and signs in a new spaces together.
The artist creates often shifts and stumbling blocks for the visitors and challenges the visitor – some interventions are like a punch in the face and others are rather subtle, the visitor has to engage with the work to perceive the provoked shift. Baumann articulates her work through different formats such as visual installations, video works, performance, objects and operations. Therefore, her work is to be understood as an assemblage of different artistic actions and gestures. The qualities and the specifics of a place such as economic, political and social questions are artistically processed in the aim to overcome division and dualism and open-up a field of experimentation.
During the realization of her last project, Pleasure Arousal Dominance, which was published in 2017 by the Centre de la Photographie Genève and Les presses du réel, the artist became aware of the technical limits of one of her tools, the camera in the social relation with the ‘other’. She claims the camera does create division and does not allow equal exchange or 'real empathy'. Empathy is currently a buzzword. Baumann defines it as 'sensitive', 'open-conscious' and therefore power-shared exchange in the search of the inner and external truth of both participants in the interaction.
She started in 2016 an ongoing artistic manifest TAKE A BETTER PICTURE (see on her homepage) which she adapts throughout her project. Baumann is believing that deconstruction has to be done through artwork as well on theoretical elocution at the same time. There should be no division between theory and practice. She works at the moment on the camera instruction manuals of the 20st and 21st century at the Institute of Anthropology at the University of Bern Switzerland. Her theoretical work (essays) will serve her later to create e.g. ‘technical disobedient tools’ and open-up an experimental field.
She currently wants to open-up a new critical political perspective on ‘the acts of photography’ and social scripts and scenarios and questions how certain creative industries dominate the field of creativity today. As the technical aids become simpler and very present in knowledge production. Does this mean that in the future the machine will become the 'expert' and the human will become the 'layman' again? The relation between the machine and the human is a central theme in her work. The technical device and its’ process 'inside' the camera – the technical ‘invisible space’ – is being challenged as a political and social ‘public’ space, in which ideas such as power-sharing, negotiation between actors and shared-production will be discussed and experienced anew.