German artist Kirsten Pieroth’s (born 1970 in Offenbach) practice often centers on the corruption of everyday items, creating a tension between the literal and abstract readings of these objects as signifiers of particular historical and cultural moments. For Dead Ant (2005), the artist squashed an ant in a Penguin edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1891, essentially leaving evidence of an ant murder on the mystery novel. In a poetic play on form and function, in Untitled (2007) Pieroth shredded a broom into a pile of dust on the floor. Another work, Money Box (2007) consists of a miniature clay safe that had been fired in the only remaining German kiln still producing old-fashioned ceramic safes designed to withstand fire. The accompanying video documents the process of firing something so that it may withstand fire. Drawing on a subtle method of appropriation, Pieroth’s alteration and displacement of common objects not only underscores the frailty of such structures but also comments on the seemingly artificial construction of our world.
She has had solo exhibitions at Cubitt in London, Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, Portikus in Frankfurt, Galerie Klosterfelde in Berlin, CCA Wattis in San Francisco, and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Kunsthaus Baselland in Basel, Apexart in New York, Manifesta 5 in Donostia-San Sebastián, and Palais de Tokyo in Paris.