New Meridians (Documents 1-20)




  New Meridians
2019-2022 / Silver gelatin prints on fibre-based paper
twenty prints, each image size 19cm x 23.5cm / paper size 23cm x 30cm / framed in walnut frame

The series New Meridians are reworkings of photographs found in late 1950s and early 1960s editions of the German travel magazine Merian. They are a record of the landscapes and towns of Europe as they were around the time of the Treaty of Rome (1957) and the beginning of the EEC (European Economic Community). These are idealised landscapes (designed to sell travel) and the magazine also presented an idea of a new post-war Europe with European integration and peace.

Stenram intervenes with the original magazine photos by overlaying them with her own markings: lines, arrows, delations, numbers and other annotations. The annotations might suggest new alignments, borders, lines of communication, and movement of people or goods, as well as systems and laws being planned and put in place.

The pictures do not have a fixed meaning or interpretation but instead balance between a utopian moment of planning and dreaming up a future – and something darker – showing divisions, fractures and censored histories. Each image is printed small, like a draft document created by some kind of bureaucratic planning department.

New Meridians was originally made in response to the 2019 European elections and has evolved throughout Brexit, the Covid-pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. The climate emergency, rising energy prices, refugee movements and the prospect of escalating war continue to shape the European landscape. The landscape is continuously redrawn; new meridians are created.

Nine pictures from New Meridians were first exhibited in 2019 at Literaturhaus in Berlin (DE) and the complete project was exhibited for the first time in 2022 at Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen (DK).

The project was made possible by an artist's grant from Stiftung Kunstfond / Neustart Kultur.

  New Meridians (Documents 1-20) installed in the exhibition Cadastral at Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen (DK), 2022.
  New Meridians (Documents 1-20) installed at Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen (DK).