»Asbestos« & »Dunkle Kammern«
Matthias Walendy / Alexander Gehring
Opening: Friday, February 5, 2016, 19h (Facebook Event)
Exhibition: February 6 – 21, 2016
Opening hours: Sat & Sun 15-18h
In his work “Asbestos” Matthias Walendy shows the change and decline of the eponymous town in Quebec, Canada. Asbestos has been mined here for centuries and gave the town its name. The raw material gave the city and its inhabitants for generations identity and pride. They lived in prosperity and wealth. Asbestos has been traded for a long time as the panacea among the raw materials. In the early 90s it was then classified by the WHO as harmful to health and almost all industrial nations stopped mining and use. Until 2012 the mining was finally stopped in Asbestos. The formerly largest asbestos mine in the world had to close. Since then, the city stands still.
In great pictures Matthias Walendy tells particularly a story of the people there and their handling of the situation. The portraits of the inhabitants, the impressive, frightening mine landscape and the architecture and the vacancy of the city stand out as symbols of resignation.
Alexander Gehring’s work “Dunkle Kammern” takes a look at caves and underground vaults. Rooms where in their darkness images are created by nature and which are closely linked to our visual culture. Not only the first man-made pictures originated in caves, but in the cave the human being became aware for the first time the deceptive power of image: in Plato’s cave, he experienced the things being looked at as a surrogate, as a pure image of a real world. In the cave a first reflection is also, just by the way, on the veracity of photography being created. In Alexander Gehring’s work the cave becomes a preform of the photographic darkroom – in her images are created and in her own the photographic image of the constant human desire for visual miracles is reflected, which manifest themselves outside of their dark walls, as truths they visualize.
About Matthias Walendy
Matthias Walendy, born in 1981 in Wipperfürth, studied photography at the Fachhochschule Dortmund with Prof. Adolf Clemens, Prof. Susanne Brügger, Professor Cindy Gates and at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie, Berlin with Prof. Ute Mahler, Thomas Sandberg and Ludwig Rauch. He lives and works as a freelance photographer in Berlin.
About Alexander Gehring
Alexander Gehring was born in 1981 in Bielefeld, studied 2005-2011 at the Fachhochschule Bielefeld with Katharina Bosse, Roman Bezjak and Anna Zika and at the London College of Communication. Alexander Gehring lives and works in Berlin.
About the aff Galerie
aff Galerie is a non-profit photography gallery located in Friedrichshain, Berlin. Run by a collective of photographers from varied backgrounds, it is a platform for contemporary photography that showcases the work of emerging, upcoming and established artists. The gallery provides a space for networking and helps to promote the projects of national and international photographers. The members of the collective showcase their own projects and work on collaborative projects. Due to the non-commercial mission of the gallery, aff Galerie is independent in the selection and curation of its shows. The exhibitions are put together by the collective’s members with the support of well-known curators.