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30 Jahre Galerie Lichtblick

Birte Kaufmann The Travellers

Book Launch


The Travellers Birte Kaufmann, book published by Verlag Kettler, June 2016

We are very happy to start the program for celebrating the 30th anniversary of Galerie Lichtblick with the book launch and exhibition "The Travellers" by Birte Kaufmann.

Book Launch: August 19th, 8 p.m.
Exhibition: August 19th - September 17th
Finissage: September 17th, 8 p.m.

The exhibition is part of Internationale Photoszene Köln 2016

In Ireland, around 25,000 people still live in temporary settlements in the style of itinerant workers far removed from the amenities of Western civilisation. Moving from place to place in mobile homes without electricity and running water, the largest Catholic minority of the country is almost considered illegal, often maligned and faced with prejudices. Strangely out of step with 21st century lifestyle, they stick to their seemingly outdated traditions while also trying to find a new identity that fits in with modern society. Even in the present day, this ambiguity continues to define life for traveller community, whose livelihood depends on horse breeding and hunting and who keep their own language alive as part of their culture.
In 2011, the photographer Birte Kaufmann cautiously began to make contact with the travelling community, earning their trust and on some occasions living with them. For her portrayal of this unknown world, she needed to be in close contact with the families in order to capture their particular character and to avoid the usual stereotypes. Without a doubt, Birte Kaufmann’s combination of reportage and documentary photography hits the right note and offers impressive insights into an extraordinary world.


The Travellers Birte Kaufmann /Institute

The Travellers
Photographs by Birte Kaufmann
Text by Chris Killip
Language: English
Hard cover, 25 x 20,5 cm, 144 Pages
Publisher: Verlag Kettler, Dortmund, June 2016
http://www.verlag-kettler.de/programm/travellers
ISBN: 978-3-86206-581-3


The Travellers Birte Kaufmann /Institute

Abseits von jeder westlich geprägten Zivilisation leben in Irland bis heute annähernd 25.000 Menschen nach dem Vorbild von Wanderarbeitern in mobilen Behausungen. Unterwegs im Wohnwagen, ohne Strom und fließend Wasser, lebt die größte katholische Minderheit des Landes am Rande der Illegalität, ist Anfeindungen ausgesetzt und mit Vorurteilen konfrontiert. Seltsam entrückt von der Lebenswirklichkeit des 21. Jahrhunderts hält man einerseits an scheinbar überholten Ritualen fest, während man andererseits versucht, sich mit neuer Identität im Hier und Jetzt zu verorten. Dieser Zwiespalt prägt bis heute das Leben der „Traveller“-Gemeinde, in der Pferdezucht und Jagd das Überleben sichern und die eigene Sprache noch immer zu den gelebten Kulturpraktiken gehört. 
Seit 2011 hat sich die Fotografin Birte Kaufmann dem fahrenden Volk behutsam genähert, hat das Vertrauen der Menschen gewonnen und gelegentlich unter ihnen gelebt. Sie musste nah genug an den Familien sein, um das Besondere darzustellen und beim Abbilden dieser unbekannten Alltagswelt nicht nur Stereotype zu bedienen. Es ist das besondere Verdienst von Birte Kaufmann, den richtigen „Ton“ getroffen und in einer Mischung aus Reportage und dokumentarischer Fotografie einen überwältigenden Einblick in diese bizarre Welt geliefert zu haben.


The Travellers Birte Kaufmann /Institute

 

 

Kommende Ausstellung /coming exhibition

30 Jahre Galerie Lichtblick
Große Jubiläumsparty: 23.9.2016, 20 Uhr

II. Space Veggies & Earth Plants #1

23.9. - 23.10.2016


Azuma Makoto - Exobotanica/ Botanical Space Flight - 15.7.2015

Andrej Barov, München, Germany
Andy Warhol, New York, USA
Azuma Makoto, Tokyo, Japan
Elaine Ling, Toronto, Kanada
Jane Fulton Alt, Chicago, USA
Karl Blossfeldt, Berlin, Germany
Laurie Lambrecht, New York, USA
Lydia Panas, Kutztown, USA
Michael Najjar, Berlin, Germany
Paul Berger, Seattle, USA
Robert Renhui Zhao, Singapore
Stephen Althouse, Pennsylvania, USA
Wei Bi, Beijing, China
Scott Kelly/ NASA, Houston, USA +
DLR Lab, Bremen with 'Veggie' project
from international spacestation ISS

Kuratiert von Tina Schelhorn für MOMA Tbilisi, Georgia – Kolga Tbilisi Photo

Die Ausstellung findet im Rahmen der Internationalen Photoszene Köln 2016 statt.


Lydia Panas

Space Veggies and Earth Plants

Photographs of plants. Plants for their own sake. As an aesthetic or biological alternative to everyday life, society and civilization up to now. Plants as intelligent and resistant living organisms on the evolutionary path from earth to outer space.

Art and amateur photography is cognisant of the motifs of man and beast, tree and flower in their paradisical simplicity. Journalistic documentation records the destruction of rain forests and biodiversity. Advertising revels in the values of recreation and consumption. Nature becomes the background setting, the fruit bowl and vegetable platter. Even in still life it is kept marginal, something between décor, color, fragrance, medicinal herb, drug, nourishment, prey and fuel.

The future-trending research and documentation of the floral and the vegetal can be found at the interface between science, art and technology, the global and the interplanetary between ecology, climate change, terraforming and in an exodus to other celestial bodies. The terrestrial evolution seems to have gone through a gradual ascent, from algae and moss to the vascular plants with roots, sprouts and leaves, trees, shrubs, herbs to flowers. In the zero gravity of space, growth accelerates and reaches new dimensions.


Robert Renhui Zhao

The photographs on show bridge the gap between civilization, evolution and nature. Procedures that are artistic and everyday, structural and documentary, investigative and symbol-depicting serve the photographic comprehension and portrayal of living things: between potential use, genetic manipulation and pure enjoyment. Biological phenomena today are generated via natural growth, virtual construction and purposeful breeding.

The pictures of nature, the subtext of the plants, change from a traditional life source to an object of economic exploitation and scarcity, to a test field of industrial standardization and to a gateway to unforeseen transformations. The aesthetic reflection of our home planet’s uniqueness is linked to our wonder at the fascinating ingenuity of evolution, here on earth and in outer space.

Dr. Peter V. Brinkemper



DLR Lab, Bremen with 'Veggie' project from international spacestation ISS

Space-Veggies and Earth-Plants

Fotografien von Pflanzen. Pflanzen um ihrer selbst willen. Als ästhetischer oder biologischer Gegenentwurf zum bisherigen Alltag, zur Gesellschaft und Zivilisation. Pflanzen als intelligente und resistente Lebewesen auf dem evolutionären Pfad von der Erde ins All.

Kunst- und Amateurfotografie kennen die Motive von Mensch und Tier, Baum und Blume in paradiesischer Einfalt. Die journalistische Dokumentation berichtet von Zerstörungen des Regenwaldes und der Artendiversität. Werbung schwelgt in Erholungs- und Konsumwerten. Natur wird zur Hintergrundkulisse, Fruchtmenü und Gemüseplatte. Selbst im Stillleben wird sie zur Marginalie, zwischen Dekor, Farbe, Duft, Heilkraut, Droge, Nahrungsmittel, Opfer und Brennstoff.

Die zukunftsweisende Erforschung und Dokumentation des Floralen und Vegetabilischen findet an einer Schnittstelle statt, zwischen Science, Art und Technologie, global und interplanetar zwischen Ökologie, Klimawandel, Terraforming und im Exodus zu anderen Himmelkörpern. Die terrestrische Evolution scheint einen langsamen Aufstieg genommen zu haben, von Algen und Moosen zu den Gefäßpflanzen mit Wurzeln, Spross und Blättern, Bäumen, Sträuchern, Kräutern und Blütenträgern. In der Schwerelosigkeit des Alls wird Wachstum beschleunigt, Proportionen erlangen neue Dimensionen.


Wei Bi

Die Fotografen in dieser Ausstellung schlagen Schneisen und Brücken zwischen Zivilisation, Evolution und Natur. Künstlerische und alltägliche, strukturelle und dokumentarische, investigative und symbolisch-darstellende Verfahren dienen der fotografischen Erfassung und Darstellung des Lebendigen: zwischen möglicher Nutzung, genetischer Manipulation und reinem Wohlgefallen. Biologische Erscheinungen werden heute erzeugt durch natürliches Wachstum, virtuelle Konstruktion und gezielte Züchtung.

Das Bild der Natur, die Botschaft der Pflanzen verändert sich vom traditionellen Lebensquell zum Objekt ökonomischer Ausbeutung und Verknappung, zum Testfeld industrieller Standardisierung und zur Pforte ungeahnter Transformationen. Die ästhetische Reflexion auf die Einmaligkeit unseres Heimatplaneten Erde verbindet sich mit dem Staunen über den faszinierenden Einfallsreichtum der Evolution, hier und im All.

Dr. Peter V. Brinkemper


Exhibition Space-Veggies and Earth-Plants at MOMA Tbilisi Georgia, May 2016

Scott Joseph Kelly, born 1964, USA. Holds the current record of 520 days in space, ending March 2016. Pilot of the Discovery Shuttle, flights on Russian Sojuz. Hubble-Space-Telescope repair mission. 1.5 years in two missions aboard the International Space Station. Made weekly photographic documentation of experiments with the “Veggie“ Plant Growth System in a microgravity environment, activated on ISS, which also included flowers. The same procedure was shadowed by DLR Lab, Bremen on earth. The “Veggie“ program remains in orbit and continues to be a platform for further cultivation experiments with other plants. Plants grown for 28 days have to be harvested, frozen and stored for later examination of the plants and microorganisms after returning to earth.

Azuma Makoto, born 1976, Japan. A flower artist for haute couture plants and flower installations since 2005. In July 2015 he sent a balloon from Nevada into the stratosphere with floral sculptures and a bonsai tree in a carbon-fiber frame, video-filmed it at an altitude of 30,000 meters and a temperature of minus 50°. Makoto named the project “exobiotanica”, which sent the plants aloft to cope with an unknown above-earth existence at zero gravity and without soil.

Michel Najjar, born in 1966 , Germany. In "Space Garden" the artist combines photography, video and computer graphics. He encircles the vision of a biosphere which dissolves from Earth, and is traveling in space or settling on a neighbour planets. He intends the fusion of observations and visions, digital numbers and visual images, to give us the fata morgana of the technological models and data landscapes from economics, bionics, urbanistics and spacetravel in order to redesign utopian dreams of the 60s. This media artist applies the contrast between visual realism and dynamic hyperreality of an exploding data universe. The conventional nature appears somehow denatured, even postromantic between utopia and dystopia by cool and distant reproduction.


Exhibition Space-Veggies and Earth-Plants at MOMA Tbilisi Georgia, May 2016

Stephen Althouse, born 1948, USA, uses plants as symbolic motifs in artificial photo-assemblages, both still lifes and structures, objets trouvés, full of everyday meaning and transience, found in no man's land between nature, trash and art. We see ivy lying on an eroded brick, a fall plant with chain attachment, roses on a metal ornament frame. Nature of growing beings and the decadence of dying things moves towards art and is absorbed by it in a lucky moment. Art overcomes the death of nature, and is thereby supported in its fragility by the craft of memorizing past life and new experience.

Andrej Barov, born 1959, Russia, living in Germany. Virtues and vices in nature. "Libertines" or “Rakes” is the ambiguous title for strange plants, flowers and trees, alone in the desert (“Wüstlinge”). They grow from the monotonous sandy soil and sprout unknown leaves, flowers and spines out of their trunk and stems. Cactus, dandelion, orchid, more or less leafy trees refer to seasons and climate and adopt via the theatre of shapes, patterns and colors different graphic characters: the digital mimicry of inconspicuous, boastful, bizarre, elegant, well-fortified and peaceful beings who take the viewer to an imaginary journey into the virtual nature - in search of the wraps of wild blue flower.

Anna Atkins, 1799-1871, England. Atkins was a botanist and the first female photographer, understood as illustrator. She issued the first scientific books with "illustrations" on complete photographic base, from the early days of photography: studies on the morphology of plants, algae and ferns, in the visual form similar to a herbarium. She used the photographic process of cyanotype, invented by John Herschel, later in Great Britain displaced by the calotype of Talbot. Atkins innovative Publications: British Algae: Cyanotype Impression, 1841. Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns, 1854.


Exhibition Space-Veggies and Earth-Plants during Rencontres d'Arles, July 2016

Karl Blossfeldt, 1865-1932, Germany. Photographer and Pioneer of the New Objectivity. He produced plant photos in enlarged detail, vivid, sculptural details and illuminated filigree studies of a microcosm. He believed: nature contains the "original forms of art" (Blossfeldts publication title 1928). Initially the photobook served only for didactic purposes to sharpe perception of objects included in drawing lessons. The camera was used to detail enlargement. The artistic and intrinsic value of black and white photographs was quickly recognized, as by Marxist philosopher Walter Benjamin.

Laurie Lambrecht, born in 1955, USA. The photographer dissolves a familiar garden plant in close-ups to a deep thicket: the "Bamboo Street" is transformed into a "Jungle Road" (so the title of the series). Trunks, strips and air roots appear in front of darker or brighter background. Foreground shades and drapery effects mingle with the foliage in different color values in lines or dots.
Laurie Lambrecht, again, exposes with "China 2009" nature in Far Eastern autumn. Her photographic study of a bough evolves the calligraphic forms of a bald tree.

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

 

 




 

 

 

   
 


Birte Kaufmann

The Travellers

19.8. - 17.9.2016

Book Launch:
19.8.2016, 20 Uhr

Finissage:
17.9.2016, 20 Uhr

 

International photographers

Space Veggies and
Earth Plants


23.9. - 23.10.2016

Vernissage und
30-Jahre-Lichtblick-Party
23.9.2016, 20 Uhr

 







 




 

 




 

 


 

 


 

 






 







 



 

 

 


 
 
   © 2007 Galerie Lichtblick, Gesellschaft für fotografische Kunst e.V. Köln | Impressum