Cathleen Schuster, Unfinished Business, 2009, © Cathleen Schuster

Cathleen Schuster

12×12. Die IBB-Videolounge

The final artist shown in this season of the IBB-Videolounge will be Cathleen Schuster (*1977 in Lünen). Her work often responds to the manifestations and consequences of globalisation. She has a particular eye for the demand it has entailed for flexibility in the world of employment. The two essay-like films being screened at the Berlinische Galerie have their roots in the artist’s family history. In their complexity, however, they delve beyond this personal dimension to show relationships between the private and the global, between local events and the way these are reflected in the media. Cathleen Schuster was born in Lünen in 1977 and studied at HGB Leipzig. In 2010 Schuster was awarded the Karl Schmidt Rottluff bursary, and in 2012 she received the GWK-Förderpreis for young artists together with Marcel Dickhage. In 2013-14 she was a researcher with the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. She lives and works in Berlin.

Unfinished Business, 2009

Unfinished Business is about the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, where her father was involved as an engineer in the 1970s. At the time, this venture was seen as lucrative business for big German companies like Siemens and Krupp, but today there are suspicions that the reactor is being used for nuclear armament. Drawing on found footage such as photographs from family albums and cuttings from newspaper articles, Schuster explores what went on at the building site, the relationship between Europeans and locals, and the Iranian Revolution, which prompted a halt to construction and the family’s departure

Not a waste, 2013

In Not a waste Schuster addresses the issue of recycling plastics in India. Unlike Unfinished Business, this work dispenses altogether with video, consisting entirely of travel photos her father took in 1986. Schuster uses this sector as an example to illustrate economic dependence and the (post)colonial structures which still persist today. In both works, the montage of different perspectives results in multi-layered, often contradictory narratives. These do justice to the complexity of historical choices and developments, while at the same time creating a poetry all of their own.


Berlinische Galerie

Landesmuseum für Moderne
Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts

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10969 Berlin Germany

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