Events | Artist Talk: Janet Sternburg in Conversation with Lorenz Kienzle

Villa Aurora | April 25, 2024 | 7:30 PM (PDT)

Author and photographer Janet Sternburg and Villa Aurora Fellow Lorenz Kienzle discuss the exploration of unfamiliar territories through photography and an awareness of foreignness juxtaposed with the “assumption of ownership foreigners can bring to adopted places”.

On the occasion of the release LOOKING AT MEXICO / Mexico Looks Back (2023).

Admission is free, please RSVP here.

© Tanja Marotzke

Lorenz Kienzle, born in Munich, studied photography in Rome and Berlin. In earlier projects and publications, he dealt with East German industrial culture. In 2006, he began a long-term collaboration with the U.S. sculptor Richard Serra. Since 2010 he has been working on several projects on fictional and real places in the work of Theodor Fontane and Alfred Döblin. Since 2018, he has also been dealing, in his curatorial work, with the estates of East German photographers. Lorenz Kienzle lives and works in Berlin.

Lorenz Kienzle is a Villa Aurora Fellow of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.


Janet Sternburg is a writer of memoirs, essays, poetry, and plays, as well as a fine art photographer. Her literary books include two memoirs, "White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine" (Hawthorne Books) and "Phantom Limb: A Meditation on Memory" (University of Nebraska Press) as well as the classic two volumes of "The Writer on Her Work" (W.W. Norton) described by Poets & Writers as "groundbreaking...a landmark," and "Optic Nerve: Photopoems" (Red Hen Press). In addition, she has published two previous monographs from Distanz Verlag: "Overspilling World: The Photographs of Janet Sternburg" with a foreword by Wim Wenders, and "I've Been Walking: Janet Sternburg, Los Angeles Photographs."

She is the recipient of the REDCAT AWARD, given to “individuals who exemplify the creativity and talent that define and lead the evolution of contemporary culture.”


LOOKING AT MEXICO / Mexico Looks Back (2023).

In the book’s introduction, Sternburg explains how, having no high-quality camera, she took her first photographs in Mexico, more than 20 years ago, using a simple, “disposable,” single-use camera, and how this led everything in the frame, including reflections, to appear in a single “interpenetrating” plane. For Sternburg, this was an innovation. Many of the photos here are imbued with a similar planar elision, often to breathtaking effect. Captured with an iPhone 10, they show, “without manipulation,” people and places around Sternburg’s adopted home of San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato, Mexico, and other locations such as Mexico City and Mérida. “In a world full of manipulated imagery,” Sternburg writes, “I don’t see, at least for myself, any need to distort.” No need at all. Her camera eye catches intersecting planes of light and color, ambience and moods both intriguing and austere. The result is a dazzling book of complex gravity and stunning beauty.

Source: Los Angeles Review of Books, Multifaceted Portals of Discovery: On Janet Sternburg’s “Looking at Mexico / Mexico Looks Back”

Villa Aurora
520 Paseo Miramar
Los Angeles, CA 90272
Admission is free
RSVP mandatory here.
Parking information:
Street parking is available on Los Liones Drive off Sunset Boulevard, two blocks northeast of Pacific Coast Highway. Please do not park in the Topanga State Park parking lot!
Free shuttle service departs from Los Liones & Sunset starting at x:xx pm. Last shuttle to Villa Aurora leaves 15 minutes prior to the event.

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