GoEun Museum Of Photography International Exchange Exhibition Sehen Zen Claudia Fährenkemper May 10 , 2014 – July 30, 2014
ⓒ Claudia Fährenkemper
Goeun Museum of Photography introduces contemporary German photography that has had strong influence around the world at the Museum’s second international exchange exhibition followed by Bernard Faucon. German photography that received spotlight with August Sander was split into two streams since 1960s. First was the school of typological photography centering on Art Academy of Dusseldorf led by Bernd and Hilla Becher as well as their students that include Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, and Andrea Gursky.
Typological photography in Germany is a tradition that started with August Sander in 1920s and after the era of new objectivity led by Albert Renger-Patzsch it was conventionalized in the 1960s by the Bechers. It approaches the subjects that reflect contemporary society and culture in an objective and neutral way. By capturing scenes from the era in the most objective way typological photography becomes historically significant as documentation focusing on the subject and not the event. In other words, by revealing the faces of post-industrial society through typology, it obtains modernity and suggests the mechanical nature unique to photography that recognizes it. Therefore if the historical context is eliminated from typological photography it is utterly meaningless. This is why the so called typological images that flooded Korea in the 2000s must be reviewed in a critical way.
Although not as well known in Korea as typological photography, the tradition of subjective photography forms the other pillar of German photography, with Otto Steinert playing the key role. Interestingly enough, subjective photography is the exact opposite of typological photography in terms of contents and format. While typological photography shows interest in similarities over differences, subjective photography notices the potential created by the differences. Otto Steinert adopted the new vision laid out by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy who inherited the Bauhaus tradition as well as the neo-objectivism by Albert Renger-Patzsch and chose to express photographer’s thoughts by accurately and faithfully recreating the subject.
The 《Sehen Zen(Sights and Thoughts)》 exhibition by Goeun Museum of Photography and Goeun Contemporary Photo Museum present works by Claudia Fährenkemper and Josef Šnobl who belong to the subjective photography school. They are artists from central Germany and share the common background of being students of Arno Jansen who was influenced by Otto Steinert. However, the two are drastically different in their methods and style. Claudia Fährenkemper whose work is to be exhibited at Goeun Museum of Photography has majored in photography as a student of Arno Jansen at University of Applied Sciences Cologne and also received guidance from Bernd Becher and Nan Hoover at Art Academy of Dusseldorf. As expected from such background, her work is very straight and delicate, and at the same time reveals the subject in an objective and neutral manner. Images to be shown in the exhibition are from her most recent <Armor> series that captures armors from museums in various aspects and <Imago> series which consists of highly detailed images created using a Scanning Electron Microscope(SEM). Both series are in black and white, beautifully and vividly exposing the nature of subjects using intensive tones and distinctive gradations. At a glance typological photography influence may have strong presence in her work but look closer and you will discover ways of describing the subject that are unique to this artist alone. It is so as she chooses the backgrounds in different tones depending on the texture of the armor and reveals various shades of black and white accordingly, and it is also so as she keenly captures the microscopic images that can’t be seen to the naked eye to pin point the borderline between reality and illusion.
While Claudia Fährenkemper candidly describes her views on the subject and acutely captures them in the form of photography, Josef Šnobl who will exhibit his work at Goeun Contemporary Photo Museum discloses his inner observations and process of self-contemplation. He too studied photography from Professor Jansen in Cologne. By fusing painting with photography or through various post-processing, he has dedicated himself to the so called ‘making photography’. He is an artist who is exceptionally talented in expressing the features of subjective photography with free and rich interpretation of the subject. This exhibition will introduce the <Zwischenzeit(Times in Between)> series revealing the sensitive and delicate sentiments felt when standing on the borderline as a Czech-born immigrant to Germany, the <Karnevals(Carnivals)> series describing carnivals from Cologne, Basel and Venice in different colors and air as well as the <Kalendarium(Calendar)> series, a calendar composed of his works organized by dates. To Josef Šnobl, photography is meaningful as a way of confirming and completing one’s own identity based on his interest in the life surrounding him.
Thus the exhibition title 《Sehen Zen》 has multiple meanings. It not only means that we are viewing a major stream of contemporary German photography but it also means the views of the two artists looking at the medium named photography, the meaning of the two looking straight at the subject and at the same time beyond it, and the meaning of us witnessing the process that finally comes down to reflecting upon ourselves beyond those views through this exhibition. From their photographs we can encounter the reserved logic and caring sentiments that exist in different contents and formats.
Subjectivity photography is worth noting as it expanded the potential of photographic expressions through various photographic formats and it can certainly be an example of understanding the subject and numerous approaches. While Andrea Gursky is known as a student of the Bechers, he has also taught by Otto Steinert. Just as Claudia Fährenkemper, Gursky was able to establish his own unique views while taking in the typographical objet because he was surely influenced by Steinert’s free perceptions and subjective interpretation on the subjects. It has been awhile since an overflow of high profiled blockbuster photography shows, or massive scaled commercial exhibitions swept over Korea one after another. Nevertheless, such phenomenon should never be understood as an increase of public interest in photography exhibitions or that the status of photography is becoming elevated. Not only photography departments are yet to be established at national and public art museums, the lack of professionals in the field is profound. Only a short while ago, a curator specializing in photography was hired by the National Art Museum for the first time, which shows where Korean photography scene stands today. Under such circumstances, Goeun Museum of Photography feels much obligated to find an appropriate role and responsibility it should play as a private art museum that specializes in photography. In order to enhance the capability of Korean photography, it is necessary to accept photography in its historical context and based on it understand and accept world’s photography trend in a broader sense. More than anything, we need an attitude that accurately recognize the reality and limits of Korean photography today and honestly admit to them. This is what Goeun Museum of Photography targets to achieve by the international exchange.
MiJung Lee(Curator, Goeun Museum of Photography)
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ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Armor_W 07-11-2
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Armor_W 04-11-1
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Armor_W 03-11-2
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Armor_W 08-11-2
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Imago_Head of a Fly 50x, 11-02-8
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Imago_Head of a Beetle 30x, 64-98-8
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Imago_Head of an Ant 60x, 29-05-8
ⓒClaudia Fährenkemper Imago_Head of a Bug 40x, 66-03-5
1959 Born in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany
Photography in the classes of Bernd Becher and Nan Hoover at the Art Academy of Dusseldorf, Germany
Photography at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne in the class of Arno Jansen, Germany
State examina degree in Art and Geography at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany
Solo Exhibitions (selected)
Macro-Micro, Center Camille Claudel, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Extreme Dimensions, Kreis Gallery, Nurnberg, Germany
Photographs of Extreme Dimensions - Mining Machinery and Insects, Kunstverein Salzgitter, Germany
Imago - Insect Portraits, Friedrich-Hundt-Society at the City Museum of Munster,
Art Gallery Siegen, Kunstverein Unna, Germany
Claudia Fährenkemper- Photographic Portraits of the Microcosm, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany Habitus - Planktos, Gallery Brussels Flamingo, Brussels, Belgium
Imago- Embryo, Fabrik FotoForum at Altonaer Museum, Hamburg, Germany Imago, Gallery Image, Arhus, Denmark Forms of Life, Ernst-Haeckel-Haus, Jena, Germany
Main Things - The other Face of the Becher Class, Gallery Lausberg, Dusseldorf, Germany Revelation and Enchantment - Purchases and Donations, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany A Gram of Light, Museum Industriekultur, Nurnberg, Germany
Ballarat International Foto Biennale (core program artist), Australia
Summer guests, Gallery Tammen, Berlin, Germany Competition Art in Architecture: permanent presentation at Federal Ministry of Food,
Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Berlin, Germany
The Luminous West, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany The red Bulli. Stephen Shore and the New Dusseldorf Photography, NRW-Forum, Dusseldorf, Germany Microphotography - Beauty beyond the Visible World, Kunstbibliothek Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum of Photography and Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation, Berlin, Germany
Karl Blossfeldt and related Positions, Photographic Collection/SK Foundation, Cologne, Germany Wildlings from the Deep, Wildling Art Museum, Los Olivos, USA Natural Responses, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Kettering, Great Britain Still life - Painting and Photography, Gallery Tammen, Berlin, Germany
Wahr-Zeichen - Photography and Science, Museums of Dresden and University of Dresden, Germany
NO Limit Award (nomination), International Photography Festival Arles, France
Faces, Traces, Places, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada Claudia Fährenkemper, Dylan Vitone, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA
Insight into Private Collections - Contemporary Photography, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Natura Photographica, Musee de L’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
Close to LIfe, 3. International Foto Triennale, Esslingen, Germany
Claudia Fährenkemper.Fordergerate im Braunkohlentagebau, Kreismuseum Peine (editor), Germany
Federal Republik of Germany (Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning), Berlin, Germany
Kreismuseum, Peine, Germany
Hypo Vereinsbank, Munchen, Germany
Hans Hansen, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of Art and Culture History, Dortmund, Germany
Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
Industrial Museum of the Rhineland, Oberhausen, Germany
Musee de L’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Portland Art Museum, Oregon, USA
Martin Margulies, Miami, USA
Wildling Art Museum, Los Olivos, USA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, USA