Woodcuts in a modern and political form: Artist Natalia Wehler shows absurdities and the fast pace of the world

Zooming in on various topics and then stopping. Taking snapshots of the current world and its fast speed and absurdities. That’s what Cologne artist Natalia Wehler does with art. And in a special way: She produces large and heavy woodcuts to print photos and screenshots on japanese paper.

The masters and the final prints become art. Oftentimes as fast as newscasts and very political – such as Wehler’s series of works around the atomic age and how people relate to and use it, called Worldatlas.

Photos of the nuclear bomb of Hiroshima along images of Fukushima and its devastated power-plant. All that combined in a large wall collage.

It is important that the images have a context,” Natalia Wehler says. The artist has studied information processing and also knows about the importance of saving data.

It is not by chance that I work with wood,” Wehler explains.

But there is also new media involved: For example videoprojections that give the images a new context. In one video Aikido-fighters show their moves while Wehler’s images are projected on their white robes. A work that heavily focuses on war.

I don’t want to go around with a moral pointing finger and show how bad the world is,” the artist says. She rather makes a statement by taking snapshops and showing how absurd the world sometimes is. Another reason why her work is a work in progress, as Natalia Wehler explains. “Urgency is my driving force.