Sven Johne Born in 1976 in Bergen auf Rügen, Germany | Lives and works in Berlin


Sven Johne

Sven Johne

Sven Johneuses the media of photography, video, text, and archive collections to display his work’s conceptual approach. At the core of his work is the question of the authenticity of information, documents and narratives and their verifying nature.

The elements of his work function as apparent or actual proof of the fates of individual, in which, in turn, present-day social, economic, and political conditions are manifested. The subjects are often closely linked to the social changes in East Germany and their effect on individual life stories. Johne’s work reports on former refugees from East Germany, border soldiers, and civil rights activists, but also on ship-hijackings and hiking through the East German countryside in search of wolfs. Fact and fiction interweave; bits of information become symbols. Research results are shaped into allegories of yearnings, ideologies, and economic development.

Sven Johne belongs to a generation of artists who grew up in the former East Germany. He experienced the autumn of 1989 as a child and today examines in a variety of ways, with a politically sharpened awareness, the issues of the historical legacy of East-West German history.


1998–2004 Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig
1996–1998 Universität Leipzig

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2012 Galerie Christian Nagel, Antwerp
2011 Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
KLEMM´S, Berlin
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
2010 Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt
Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren

Group exhibitions (selection)

2012 Making History, MMK, Frankfurt
2011 Aschemünder, Haus der Kunst, Munich
I´ve dreamt about, MUDAM, Luxemburg
Wunder, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
2010 Kunstfilmbiennale, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Squatting, Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin
2009 Vilnius COOP: gaps, fictions and practices, The X Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius
2008 Vertrautes Terrain, Kunst in/über Deutschland, ZKM, Karlsruhe