Reader in Photography

  • Academic
  • Research
Steffi Klenz

Reader in Photography Steffi Klenz, leads our MA Fine Art course at UCA Canterbury.


Steffi has exhibited her work across the UK and internationally at The British Museum in London, The Wellcome Collection London, The Royal Academy in London, The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Camden Art Centre in London, The Museum for Contemporary Art in Taipei, The Museum of Contemporary Art Alicante, The FotoMuseum Antwerp, Los Angeles Centre for Digital Arts, The Phoenix Art Museum, The Fine Art Museum Luleå, The Finish Museum of Photography, , Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen and Museum Künstlerkolonie in Darmstadt.

Her work was part of the Biennale for Contemporary Photography in Germany in 2020, The International Biennale for Photography in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) in 2021, The Biennale for Electronic Language and Technology in Sao Paulo (Brazil) in 2022 and most recently the 2023 Tokyo Biennale.

Her work has been reviewed in numerous magazines such as Art Monthly, Art Review, Art World China, Elephant Magazine, The Architectural Review, Photographies, History of Photography Journal, Photography and Culture Journal and Portfolio Magazine.

Her practice has been discussed in Chris Townsend’s “New Art from London”, Thames & Hudson (2006), Judith Rugg’s “Spatialities: The Geographies of Art and Architecture” by Intellect Publishing (2012), Robert Shore’s “Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera”, by Laurence King Publishing (2014), Imogen Racz’ “Art and Home: Comfort, Alienation and the Everyday” by I.B.Tauris (2015), Robert Shore’s “Beg, Steal and Borrow” by Laurence King Publishing (2017), Jean Wainwright’s “Ship to Shore: the Art and Lure of the Sea” by John Hansard Gallery and Cornerhouse Publications in 2018.

Klenz published her first book “Polo bound for Passaic” by Cornerhouse Publishing (UK) and Schaden Verlag (Germany) in 2009. Her book “He only feels the black and white of it, Berlin Wall 14-07-1973” by Mörel Books was launched in 2016 and the book “So to Speak” was published in 2018. Recently, Klenz was selected for the book publication “Collage: Women in Photography” by Gestalten in December 2022. The book highlights the most innovative recent works by women who have forged a place for themselves in the world of contemporary art and photography.

Klenz was commissioned by Unseen Photography Fair in Amsterdam in 2013, undertook the Rights of Passage Commission for the 2015 Venice Biennale, completed the BBC East Tower Project in 2017 in London, the Strange Cargo Commission for the Cheriton Light Festival 2018 and the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Cultural Quarter Commission in 2018. Most recently, Klenz completed the innovative London Borough of Culture Project (2019-2022), exhibited as part of London Festival of Architecture in 2022 and launched her first permanent public artwork “Tensed Muscles” in London in June 2022.

In 2024, Klenz will be presenting new work as part of the European Capital of Culture in Bodø, Norway.

She is also part of the collaborative European project “Out of the Metropolis – Art Exchange across Borders” initiated by NŌUA in Norway, in partnership with the Finish Museum of Photography and DoubleDummy in France. Between 2023-25 the institutions and invited artists are working together to explore new curatorial phenomena by challenging the roles, models and functions between exhibition spaces, curators, artists, and audiences in a micro-institutional context. The objective is to strengthen unconventional arenas for art in the peripheries by developing innovative strategies and methods for cross-border collaborative teams, co-production, and exchange of art, with particular focus on economic and ecological sustainability.

Further information:

Research statement

Steffi Klenz is an artist who approaches photography as an expanded visual discipline. Her practice is fundamentally concerned with challenging conventional conceptions of architectural representation by analyzing the potentialities of photography as a source of creative imagination and as a tool for spatial knowledge.

Unlike conventional architectural photography, which uncritically flatters its architectural subject matter, Klenz revisits the capacities of the photographic image and architecture to go beyond containing and reproducing the built environment but instead her work bridges the gap between the flat surface of the photograph and the spatial experience of architecture.

Klenz’ process of interpreting, communicating, and imagining architecture involves photographic images as an integral part of her work but she also integrates the practice of drawing, sculpture and installation demonstrating that the most illuminating architectural photography can in fact be born of a cross-disciplinary approach.

Klenz takes great care in finding fitting and ambitious final form for her conceptual projects via books, exhibitions and exciting collaborations. Her agility of thinking is reflected in the ways in which she combines disparate references in her work, and also in the interesting ways in which she adapts it to the site in which it is exhibited. 

Research supervision

  • Maxine Chester (1st Supervisor)

Completed UCA research students:

  • Ollie Gapper
  • Erin Solomons
  • 2023-ongoing – Trustee, Cementfields
  • 2022-ongoing – Member of CEE Creatives Network
  • 2022-ongoing – External Examiner, UCL, Westminster University London, Creative Practice MRES
  • 2021 – External Examiner Course Validation, University of Bolton
  • 2018-2019 – International Research & Artistic Mentor at The School of Fine Art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
  • 2017-ongoing – Member of REF Working Group at UCA
  • 2018-2019 – International Mentor as part of Emerging Women Photographers’ Mentorship Scheme (Women Photographers from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Sierre Leone and the UK) as part of Fast Forward: Women in Photography
  • 2018-2019 – Member of Cultural Innovation Forum in South-East UK
  • 2017-2018 – Consultant on Educational Delivery and Research, Falmouth University
  • 2013-ongoing – Reader in Photography, UCA
  • 2013-ongoing – PhD Supervisor at UCA
  • 2013-ongoing – PHD Supervisor Forum at UCA
  • 2013-ongoing – Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2013 – External Examiner, UAL, London College of Communication, MA Photography
  • 2010-2012 – Selected Board Member, Yinka Shonibare Art Gallery, London
Steffi Klenz