Opening: Thursday, May 12, 2016, 19h (Facebook Event)
Introduction: Dr. Mark Lehmstedt (Lehmstedt Verlag Leipzig)
Film Screening “Obcina” Björn Reinhard:
Thursday, June 16, 19h (admission € 3)
Exhibition: May 13 –
June 24 extended until July 1, 2016
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 14-18h, Thu 10-20h
Fotogalerie Friedrichshain is pleased to announce the exhibition of Rostock-born photographer Axel Heller’s long-term project “Maramureş”. This important work is being exhibited for the first time in Berlin from 12 May to 24 June 2016.
The Maramures is one of the most remote regions of Europe, located on the border with Ukraine in northern Romania. There, in relative isolation and shielded by lonely mountains and valleys, time seems to have stood still. People continue to live and work as they have for centuries; communal history, legends and identity are passed on from one generation to next and the cycle of the seasons, the common meanings and understandings are embedded in seemingly unchanging Christian festivals and the rhythms of everyday life.
Axel Heller’s images honestly portray the full range of nature and community life over a ten year period of time. His work goes well beyond romanticizing the countryside, or idyllically presenting a culture that “time has forgotten”. While Heller’s images are often raw and stark, they are never devoid of compassion and understanding. Heller’s work, moreover, not only captures the traditional way of life of the region but, the incipient encroachment of modernity into the fabric of the community. Hence, Heller’s project is a powerful statement which allows the viewer to closely examine a way of life which has existed for centuries as well as consider the prospective contradictions, tensions and changes that appear almost inevitable in overwhelming that community as globalization proceeds.
In 2015, Lehmstedt Verlag published Axel Heller’s project in the book Maramures. In 2016, Heller’s book was nominated for the prestigious award for the best German published photography monograph.
Axel Heller (born 1962), initially trained as a forestry technician and then received further training for zoological preparation. Since 1990, Heller has worked as a freelance photographer. Currently he lives in Neustrelitz near Berlin.