In recent years photography has reached a new peak in artistic media. Starting with the Düsseldorf School, with artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, or Candida Höfer, a young generation of artists developed that adopted different approaches by which to present the subject matter of “space” and “place” in an era of historic change and social crises. With the exhibition Lost Places, the Hamburger Kunsthalle dedicates an exhibition to these new approaches, which document a wide range of different places and living spaces and their increasing isolation through the media of photography, film, and installation works.
Joel Sternfeld‘s documentary photographs depict places that were crime scenes. Thomas Demand restages real crime scenes, initially as models in order to then photograph them. In turn, in her large-scale photographs, Beate Gütschow constructs cityscapes and landscapes that are reminiscent of well-known places, but that do not allow any true reference. Sarah Schönfeld illustrates “the image of memory in the present space” in her photographs. She visits old places from her GDR childhood and captures these in their present state, whereby both points in time collide. In his fictional video installation Nostalgia, Omer Fast recounts the story of illegal immigrants from three different perspectives.
In his book The collective memory, French philosopher Maurice Halbwachs pointed out the significance of “spatial images” for the memory of social communities. Today the reliable spatial contextualisation of objects and memories (also due to digital photography) is under threat, hence this pretence begins to crumble. What happens to real places if a space loses its usual significance and can be experienced on a virtual plane? The exhibition comprises about 20 different approaches of contemporary photography and video art with many loans from museums and private collections.
The exhibition features the following artists: Thomas Demand (b. 1964), Omer Fast (b. 1972), Beate Gütschow (b. 1970), Andreas Gursky (b. 1955), Candida Höfer (b. 1944), Sabine Hornig (b. 1964), Jan Köchermann (b. 1967), Barbara Probst (b. 1964), Alexandra Ranner (b. 1967), Ben Rivers (b. 1972), Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), Gregor Schneider (b. 1969), Sarah Schönfeld (b. 1979), Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944), Thomas Struth (b. 1954), Guy Tillim (b. 1962), Jörn Vanhöfen (b. 1961), Jeff Wall (b. 1946) and Tobias Zielony (b. 1973).
Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue, available at the museum shops and
Curator of the exhibition: Dr. Petra Roettig, assisted by Luisa Pauline Fink and Andrea Völker
Tobias Zielony. Dirt Field, 2008 (from the series Trona – Armpit of America). C-print, 56 x 84 cm.* Collection Halke / Courtesy KOW, Berlin, © Tobias Zielony.