Born in Berlin. Lives and works in Paris.
After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts of Berlin, Deidi von Schaewen opts for photography. She immortalises the greatest among contemporary architects: from Ricardo Bofill to Frank Gehry, from Tadao Ando to Jean Nouvel.
However, Deidi von Schaewen’s work also bears witness to another obsession: the ephemeral, the testimonials of our urban and rural civilisations doomed to disappear. This is long-lasting, documentary work: walls as of 1961, scaffoldings (or “sheeted architecture”) starting in 1966, sidewalks since 1977. Tirelessly, she travels the world on the look-out for the unexpected, architectural monuments disappearing behind veils or colourful materials, Indian towers surrounded by bamboo structures seeming as fragile as unstable.
Since the 1990s, Deidi von Schaewen collaborates with the publisher Taschen. She publishes her photographs of French gardens, eccentric houses or yet again Indian interiors. While travelling for her book “Inside Africa” in 2001, she is fascinated by precarious dwellings, huts built with flattened barrels and assembled in a colourful patch-work like profusion of paintings, graffiti and rust (used for the storage of goods/merchandise by semi-nomadic populations). She is also fascinated by Cairo’s unused cars wrapped with plain or coloured cloths while waiting for gas or repairing. A selection of her photographs, combining the simplicity of materials with the surrealism proper to the situations, will be presented for the first time at the gallery Pièce Unique Variations.
For the Pièce Unique space, the artist has chosen to show a large, unique print of an unpublished image taken in Mauritania, where the spectator is entranced by the poetry and magic of a fragile construction, also ephemeral, made of branches and cloth fragments, standing in a delicate balance on the sand and destined to become a market stall.