Material: Algea (Nori Sushi seaweed)

Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 2019

photos © Kai Werner Schmidt

In her installations, Yaël Kempf deals with solutions that enable life in a "greener" society. Her approaches to solutions increasingly focus on biodegradable materials. She imagines a world that leaves no trace: Every material would have an end, a biological death. Working with nori seaweed is the starting point of this approach. Experimenting with it, she discovered its special properties. For example, the material is greatly reduced by drying, creating tensions on its surface that give the objects a fragile character. The viewer is usually surprised by the use of seaweed. At first, the material resembles burnt objects or looks like plastic. The color of the algae evokes a dark, almost morbid aesthetic that resists living matter and thus describes its opposite. The strong smell of iodine in the pieces gives an important clue about the material. It causes a feeling of gagging, a disgust in some people. "Nausea" (original title: La Nausée) is the title of previous work, whose organic parts Yaël Kempf recycles for the competition work "Remake". All elements of "Nausea" are first destroyed to create "Remake". Recycling the algae later makes the material harder and differently structured, it seems et-what "wild" grows. Recycling can continue as an infinite process. Yaël Kempf's future project is to create a village-sized habitat made entirely of algae and other biodegradable elements. In this way, she wants to reveal the fragility of our future.

Katja Stolarow

What we create is disappearing. The naive consciousness of material life evaporates and leaves us with the feeling of an existence that is no longer justified.


Fair Trade Wall, 2019 Polyester, Plexiglass, Wood, Metal, 190x275 cm

Wedding, 06:52 in collab. with Timothe Deschamps

Conceptually this video revolves around nature and a single male protagonist, who equal living together. The man is only wearing his shell. As his skin, like his clothes, as his shelter, as his house. This part of him is made of algae. This video shows the first step of a dream where the human leaves no traces on earth.