Johanna Diehl (b. 1977 Germany)
Cults of Performance, 2019
Series of black and white photographs
Courtesy the artist
This project was supported by Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung
In a series of black-and-white photographs titled Cults of Performance, Johanna Diehl examines how the social pressure exerted on the individual in the age of advanced capitalism manifests itselfwithinthe post-Soviet context of Kaunas. In line with her usual methodological approach, Diehl has sought out architectural settings and public spaces which have undergone transformations. Specifically, Diehl has photographed former public buildings in Kaunas whose function before the collapse of the Soviet Union was to create a sense of community but which have now become spaces of individualization and self-optimization. This selection includes former factories, cinemas, churches and synagogues which have now been repurposed into sites of consumption, entertainment orpersonal development. Examples include a squash court that functions as an adventure playground on weekends, shopping malls and commercial platforms, automobile repair and supplies shops, beauty salons and shared spaces for self-employed creatives.