Annette Kelm works exclusively within the medium of photography. Using traditional genres such as portrait, still life, landscape and architectural photography Kelm is questioning the function of objects and the nature of their representation. Her photographs often conflate several genres into single images or develop single motifs across serial images to combine a variety of artistic, historical, and cross-cultural references.
Juxtaposing solid and ephemeral objects, nature and (consumer) culture is a recurring motif in Annette Kelms work. The four identical prints Pizza Pizza Pizza show the side of an upright standing pizza cardboard box with the image title imprinted, photographed from above. Placed on the box is a piece of tree bark that casts a dark shadow on the bright yellow backdrop. In Gems a tiny book about Gemstones and the delicate leaves of an annual honesty lay on a dotted background that resembles Photoshop desktop backdrops. Honesty is also known as „money plant“ or "silver dollars" as its seedpods have the appearance of silvery coins. Currency, a recurring theme in Kelm’s recent work, is also at the center of 500 Euro. The photograph shows a post-it imitating a 500 Euro bill fixed by a string on a background canvas whose patterns imitate columns. Referring to the illusion of space in Trompe l'Oeil or Quodlibet paintings, the image targets the problem of the lack of material relation to value, currently evident in the global finance system.
With Proposal for Knots, Kelm ties in with her usage of fancy and unusual textile backdrops, addressing questions of textile design as a form of visual language, and representation of global trade. The image depicts a fabric with a design that takes up instructions charts on how to knot. In Good Morning an unfolded, generically printed table napkin salutes us four times in english, french, spanish and german. The four suns shine brightly behind the words. The unfolded napkin is covered by small flower blossoms and a thick black cable, alluding to the studio technique behind the image. The textile backdrops of Apples, Straws and Stripes and Red Stripes seem decisively unstraightened – in Red Stripes the creases even take center stage, becoming a motif in its own right.
Schiffsversuchsanstalt shows most unusual architecture in an urban landscape.The pictured building is Ludwig Leo’s famous „Umlauftank 2 (UT 2)“, realized in 1974 in Berlin-Tiergarten as a huge laboratory for research on water current. It has recently been renovated, refreshing its flamboyant color concept – a massive pink tube wiggled around a fundament of intense blue and green. In her composition Kelm emphasizes the buildings conceptual design by separating the foreground from the object, making the setting look like a diorama.