Sandra Kranich was born in 1971. She is an officially recognized pyrotechnician and creates fireworks as art—beyond the call of her profession. As a form of art, these eruptive events—to use that old metaphor for the male orgasm—are related to other art forms. These events for the masses developed as a form of princely entertainment during Rococo times, and thanks to their rich colors remain highly popular. Of course, «color»—from the point of view of painting—is naive. Kranich’s ground level fireworks, which took place in March of this year, were limited to whites, reds and greens, which intermingled as smoke. Monochromatic fireworks are also imaginable, while there are more than 20 different shades of gold. Unquestionably, fireworks are a decorative art form. But, as such, it is independent and decorative only unto itself. Since the 1980’s, painters have appreciated decoration because it protects painting from the unreasonable expectation that it could express something that would give it meaning. Decoration is decoration and nothing else. Kranich comes more from a drawing background. Her dream is to create black fireworks under a light sky. She is interested in the dynamics of lines. The fireworks are shot into the sky, where they draw glistening lines which cross for seconds and form a coincidental shape of independent forms; using new precision fireworks («magic fire»), the height and time at which they explode can be calculated precisely. Kranich wants to shoot stereometric figures into the sky. In as much as the explosion of rockets in space determines outlines, fireworks are related to sculpture. In the broadest sense, the crashing and screaming bring them into the realms of modern music, especially if one thinks of musicians who work with sound. Crashing and lightning are like storms—performances that are simultaneously both terrifying and beautiful. The colloquial expression «terribly beautiful» conveys this impression. Yet, the sound is almost more of an atmospheric accessory. The decisive relationship is that of the fireworks to a performance. Each performance is unique, i.e. identical and not repeatable. To paraphrase Walter Benjamin it is because fireworks cannot be reproduced that they possess the aura that other forms of art have lost, precisely because they can be reproduced. Fireworks are a collection of intense moments, which is extinguished in a very short time and literally dissipates into the night. It is the elements of fleetingness and the long and complicated preparations for just a few moments of performance that make these spectacles precious. Only the memory of them (and a documentary video) remains. In an interview, the artist once said that one has to learn how to see fireworks. She herself is able to see in slow-motion. Sandra Kranich is the only female artist working in this field. Burkhard Brunn

  1971 geb. in Ludwigsburg, lebt in Frankfurt am Main / 1995 – 98 Studium an der Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach a. M. (bei Prof. Manfred Stumpf und Prof. Heiner Blum) / 1998 – 01 Studium an der Städelschule Frankfurt a. M. (bei Prof. Thomas Bayrle) mit Abschluss Meisterschülerin / seit 2003 staatlich anerkannte Pyrotechnikerin für Großfeuerwerk
Exhibitions (selection)
2003 »Bodenfeuerwerk«, Burgdorf, Schweiz; »Bodenfeuerwerk«, Duchcov, Tschechien; Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt/M.; »Bodenfeuerwerk« / 2002 »Through and Through«, rraum 02, Frankfurt/M. / 2001–02 »Through«, Protoacademy, Edinburgh Schottland / 2001 »Silicon Woodcuts«, Forum der Frankfurter Sparkasse 1822 / 2000 »Bodenfeuerwerk«, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt / 1999/2000 »Bodenfeuerwerk«, Historisches Museum Frankfurt / 1999 »Save the day«, Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main

Hessischer Rundfunk,