Graduation Exhibition by the Ostkreuz School for Photography Master Class of Prof. Ute Mahler & Ingo Taubhorn.
Curated by Magnus Pölcher
Ralf Bittner, Eddie Bonesire, Antonia Gruber, Nele Gülck, Nina Hansch, Attila Hartwig, Alexander Kadow, Alexander Klang, Heidi Krautwald, Anja Putensen, Natalya Reznik, Alina Simmelbauer, Magdalena Stengel, Tim Love Weber
In TRUE STORIES_, the photographers of the fourth Master Class of the Ostkreuz School for Photography show their own perception of reality: how it was, is, could be.
In their works and within stories from the past, present and future their ability of photographic observation and individual imagination emerge. In apocalyptic places there is hope, in foreign countries a feeling of home, in the life experiences of other people a reflection of ourselves and in the photographic investigation of the self a visual universe.
Under the guidance of Prof. Ute Mahler (Photographer / Co-Founder of the Ostkreuz Agency) and Ingo Taubhorn (Curator of the Haus der Photographie / Deichtorhallen Hamburg), the 14 graduates of the Master Class have created their very own view of reality in free documentary and artistic works in order to present them at the Kunstquartier Bethanien from February 14 to 23, 2020.
Friday, February 14, 2020, 7 pm
Opening Reception with Live Music
Saturday, February 15, 2020
4 pm: Guided Tour with Prof. Ute Mahler (held in German)
6 pm: Photographic Quartett with Ingo Taubhorn & Guests (held in German)
Sunday, February 16, 2020
3 pm: „Ageing in Contemporary Photography“ Lecture by Natalya Reznik (held in English)
4 pm: Talk with the photographers Natalya Reznik, Heidi Krautwald, Magdalena Stengel & art historian Hanna Baro (held in English)
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
7 pm: Curator’s Guided Tour with Magnus Pölcher (held in German)
Saturday, February 22, 2020
4 pm: Curator’s Guided Tour with Magnus Pölcher (held in German)
Sunday, February 23, 2020
6 pm: Finissage with the artists
PRESENTATION OF ALL SERIES
THE LAND IN BETWEEN
The subject of the photographer Ralf Bittner is a town of 65,000 inhabitants, not a big city, not a country. In “THE LAND IN BETWEEN – Attempt on an Idyll’ he is interested in the long-term changes of its surroundings, which are often barely visible. At first glance, his pictures document change or persistence, but if you have a chance to have a closer look they reveal fine visual poetry. The pictures do not only show, but tell quiet stories.
View more | IG: @ralfbittnerphoto
Monsieur W (1914-2009) was born into a family of workers and artisans in the Belgian industrial region of Wallonia. Between the lines of his life can be read certain pages of the history of his country: he lived through two World Wars and various political and economic crises. His acquaintance Eddie Bonesire inherited from him a large suitcase, a briefcase and several cardboard boxes containing private photographs, documents and a medley of objects. This work combines ‘inherited’ material and new photographs and texts by Eddie Bonesire into a mix of facts, accounts and fictional elements, telling of a seemingly ‘ordinary’ life which was nevertheless characteristic of the eventful century.
A recurring theme in photography is playing with perception. Inner conflicts invisible to the eye, the self-perception versus the external perception as well as the social role of a woman are inspirations for the series [zɛlpstpɔrtrɛː] by Antonia Gruber. She experiments with various techniques of analog manipulation, whereby her self-portraits undergo a purposeful distortion. Radically she questions the reproducibility of images.
THE GOOD MOUNTAIN
In a country that no one could enter for a long time, above a village with no road leading to it, rises a mountain, so old and sacred, that over the centuries neither Christians, Muslims nor socialists could leave a lasting mark on it. The various religious communities that live in its shadow are held captive by poverty and isolation. Their village, locked up by the Morava Mountains in southern Albania, has stopped in time, became their inevitable home; but their real home is the Good Mountain, in whose mythical powers Catholics and Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Bektashi Sufis and old socialists equally believe. And although everyone would like to leave the village, they never forget to purse a handful of earth from the mountain top, a handful of home to protect and remember.
View more | IG: @neleguelck
800 METER TIEF
Groß Vahlberg is only two kilometers away from the dilapidated nuclear waste storage facility Asse II, located in the northern Harz foothills. Opinions differ on the future of the nuclear facility threatened by water ingress. The majority ignore the topic, some think that the facility should have been closed long time ago, and some request that the radiation-emitting inheritance to be relocated as soon as possible. What is right? Nobody can answer it. A veil has been drawn over this subject. Nina Hansch looked underneath and discovered a village in which not everything revolves around the Asse.
View more | IG: @ninahans_
In his series ‘Prelight days’ Attila Hartwig works with his own photo archive which has been made during the past two decades and appropriates it anew. This material was never intended for the public view, but now appears as an independent work by change of the artistic perspective. Through this reversal of the gaze, Hartwig shows in this project the supposed failure as well as the desire for exploration of the empty space, reflects past artistic decisions and his own role as a photographer.
View more | IG: @attilahartwig
Direct analogue C-Prints of Baltic Amber show the inside of these 20 million year old relicts of a pre-human time. Baltic Amber is a mostly orange and hardened resin which often includes insects and plants from a long ago time. This indexical characteristic but also the orange color remind of the photographic negative. The Baltic Amber is being used as a negative in the analogue darkroom for these photographic prints and allows the natures’ physical memory to be translated by this human technique of time-preservation.
View more | IG: @alexanderkadow
For his analog black & amp;white pictures Alexander Klang makes appointments with strangers through the internet on locations he hasn’t seen before. All he looking for is a natural expression, an intimate moment or unexpected gesture in a very reduced and graphical framework.
View more | IG: @alexanderklang
IN THE MEANTIME
After the birth of her first child in 1984, Heidi Krautwald dedicated herself to the subject of self-portraiture. Since then, she has produced a series of documentary and staged self-portraits, in which she explores her social roles as wife, lover and mother.
The rural areas of Estonia and Latvia are characterized by numerous manor houses. Some have been renovated, but a large part of them is forfeited. The project shows this Baltic culture of manor houses and its landscapes from a poetic-magical perspective.
View more | IG: @anjaputensen
THE OLD WORLD
How will people live in 2050? In ‘The Old World’ Natalya Reznik tries to imagine how our society could look like in the future. Probably, we will face a completely different society. We will be surrounded by elderly waiters, flight attendants, dancers and DJs. Not the young supermodels, but beautiful women with grey hair will smile at us from the advertising posters. The #greynaissance begins here.
View more | IG: @natalya_reznik
Around 190,000 migrant workers studied or worked from 1962 to 1990 in the GDR, the socialist brother state. When their work contract expired, they were sent back to their home countries. For many there is something besides their own work history that connects them today with Germany: their children. Alina Simmelbauer is herself a daughter of a former contract worker who had stayed in the GDR in the early 1980s. However, she first met him only in 2011 in Cuba. Since then she has been searching for people whose family histories resemble hers. In this search she met many children who grew up behind a veil of secrecy; without fathers or knowledge about their whereabouts.
View more | IG: @alinagarrcia
The number of centenarians in Germany has more than doubled in the last ten years and this number is expected to rise rapidly in the future. According to recent studies, every third girl born in 2019 will become over 100 years old. Many of these elderly people still live independently in their homes today and look back on nearly 100 years of German history. ‘± 100’ is the story about people between the ages of 90 and 100, the story of happiness and unhappiness, of war and peace, and of daily life within a wide variety of circumstances of life.
View more | IG: @magdalenastengel
Tim Love Weber
DIALOGUE WITH THE HUMAN BEING
‘Dialogue with the human being’ is an exploration of the beauty and absurdity of human existence. How do people deal with questions about the meaning of life, what drives them and what supports them in life? Tim Weber visualizes the philosophical questions about human existence by confronting his models with them during the photo sessions.