Renate Bühn very often puts many months or even, years of thought and research into her installations and objects, which undergo a contextual shift and gain renewed complexity in each and every place they are shown. Looking closely at hidden realities is a fundamental aspect both of her social work and her artistic practice as well as the driving force behind them.
In her latest work – the Lavabo and pin series – Bühn addresses cases of sexual abuse perpetrated in the Catholic Church and its institutions. Since 2012, she has engaged in researched in order to find the appropriate artistic means to apprehend not only the dimensions and multifaceted nature of this crime but also the efforts made by the Church, not least by the Vatican, to protect those who perpetrate it.
“Every case of abuse and likewise every instance of someone closing his or her eyes to the issue, of looking the other way, of denying, covering up or belittling it, is a pinprick in the flesh of the victim-survivor as well as in the flesh of the family, of the church and of society.” Renate Bühn
“Renate Bühn has been there herself. She knows only too well how it feels to be a victim-survivor when silence reigns in a family that knows what is going on and when ill deeds go unpunished. “The perpetrator lived until his death with a family that was in the know.” These are the words she speaks into the mike before the assembled guests at the opening of her exhibition at the Konkordien [Church] in Mannheim – and her words have an echo, just as her artworks do.” Angela Boll, Mannheimer Morgen 10.03.2014
1962 | Born in Mannheim, Germany
1984 – 1989 | Degree in Social Education, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences
1985 – 1994 | Co-founds Wildwasser Darmstadt, a counselling centre for abuse survivors
1995 – 1996 | Degree in Art Therapy, Ottersberg University of the Arts
1998 – 1999 | Pursues training in Multimedia Design, Arge Multimedia Bremen
since 1999 | Works as an independent artist
2002 – 2003 | Pursues training in Camera, Image and Sound
since 2001 | runs the on-going exhibition project “What Do You See, Ms. Lot?”
since 2001 | leads participatory art projects; creative workshops with children, teenagers and young adults; prevention of violence workshops with gender awareness training; gender and diversity training for multipliers in education
since 2013 | a member of the artists’ association GEDOK Bremen
since 2015 | a member of the Council of Affected Persons of the Independent Government Commission on Sexual Abuse Issues (UBSKM) and of the Federal Working Group “On the protection of children and young people from sexual violence and exploitation”.