Solo & Group Exhibition
»Heinz Hajek-Halke + Collection De Gambs«
The photography institution CHAUSSEE 36 in Berlin-Mitte is opening its doors to visitors as part of this year’s Berlin Photo Week with photographs by Heinz Hajek-Halke and a presentation of the Collection De Gambs.
CHAUSSEE 36 is a place for open and controversial examination of the many facets of photography. To support this aim, the association “Fotografie und Kultur CHAUSSEE 36 e. V.” was founded in 2020. (Managed by Mathilde Leroy and Mona Mathé). It is intended to actively promote national and international artists and to create a space for action between art, artists, the public, and institutions through workshops, discussions, and events.
Heinz Hajek-Halke: Experiment
Vintage Photographs: 1950 – 1970
Curated by Simone Klein
CHAUSSEE 36 e.V. is pleased to manage the Estate of the famous Berlin photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke since early this year.
Heinz Hajek-Halke (1898 – 1983) is one of the most important German photography artists of the 20th century. Born in Berlin, raised in South America, his activities in Berlin during the 1920s and 1930s were numerous. He worked as a press illustrator, photo reporter, picture editor, and advertising photographer. During this period, the subject matter and the experimental nature of his photographic work reflected the realities of the modern city. At the time of the Nazi regime, Hajek-Halke withdrew to Lake Constance and produced zoological and documentary images. After 1945, his initial interest in experimental photography continued.
The completely free handling of photographic material – the negative as an object served as a basis for successive alienations, material additions, and overexposures of all kinds – which leads here into the abstract, the informal, the photograms of Christian Schad or Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, or the photographic images related to subjective photography, which Hajek-Halke called “Light Graphics.” Hajek-Halke used to print from his negatives himself. The work on the negatives and the execution of the prints were both conducted and controlled by him – to the point of perfection.
This first presentation gives an insight into his multi-layered experimental work. On display is a selection of vintage photographs. The Heinz Hajek-Halke Estate aims to preserve the artist’s work in the best condition possible whilst making it accessible to the public for it to find its rightful place within the discourse of contemporary art and photography.
Heinz Hajek-Halke in dialogue with Stefanie Seufert & Thomas Albdorf
Like Heinz Hajek-Halke, the Berlin artist Stefanie Seufert and the Viennese artist Thomas Albdorf experiment with the medium of photography and its reinvention. Here, intentional moments meet the accidental. Conscious actions of the artists mix with the momentum of the work – be it in the photographic production process or by computer software.
Collection De Gambs
As part of the Berlin Photo Week, the Heinz Hajek-Halke Estate is showing the first presentation with selected vintage photographs under the title “Experiment”, which gives an insight into his multi-layered work. On this occasion, Collection De Gambs, a private art collection supervised by CHAUSSEE 36 will be presented as well.
Corresponding to Hajek-Halke, a selection of works by well-known photographers are on display that explore the concept of experiment in different ways. In addition to the famous photographs of Harold Edgerton, the pioneer of high-speed photography, works by newcomer Bastiaan Woudt are on display, who draws the classic motif of the portrait into abstraction with strong black & white contrasts and clear forms. Sarah Moon’s photographs, on the other hand, are characterized by a dream-like visual language. Through blurring and alienation, motif and background become one, detaching any sense of space and time. The famous work After Van Dongen by Norman Parkinson – a tribute to the Dutch artist – also plays with foreground and background and dissolves the line between painting and photography. The works of Guy Bourdin and Gilbert Garcin lead the viewer into a surreal scenery with narrative images.
This presentation shows a small insight into the comprehensive collection, which focuses not only on experimental approaches but also on historical photographs – especially with reference to Berlin – and Nude / Eroticism.