Hamburg Photo Triennial: A Journey, Part Two

After a first tour of Hamburg which took us from a bourgeois building in the Altona district to the impressive History Museum, passing by the Museum of Fine Arts, Labor and Ethnology… We continue our journey discover the last six exhibitions that make up this ambitious edition of the Hamburg Photographic Triennial.

Before returning to the center of Hamburg and looking up at this fascinating multi-faceted architecture, modern, industrial and authentic at the same time, the exhibition dedicated to Charlotte March invites us to discover the Hamburg-Harburg district. In the Falckenberg Collection in the south of the city, the photographer, known for her fashion photos, reveals herself. But it is with his images of scenes of life, of streets, taken in the 1950s between two shoots, that the curators have chosen to welcome visitors. Humanist photos, close to the subject, which contrast with the refinement of his fashion photographs, presented on the first floor. A way to discover the unsuspected value of the little-known shots of the Hamburg photographer.

The Hamburg-born photographer Albert List is also presented in two exhibitions that trace the abundant work of the man who has always considered himself an amateur. Presented at the Buncerius Kunst Forum, 25 years after the previous exhibition there. The Magic Eye presents 240 prints that review thematically the diversity of his work. We follow in his footsteps, starting with his first photos of friends and family, which reveal his surrealist influences and already show the beginnings of the talent of the one who will become a major photographer in various styles: Portraits, still lifes, landscapes… Images of Italian landscapes, ancient columns and Greek statues respond to each other throughout the spaces, faces of complicit artists, intertwined bodies follow one another, until ending with lesser-known photos of reports which confirm the artistic and creative palette of the photographer.

And to extend the journey through the work of Albert List, the Musée des Arts et Métiers offers two in-depth explorations of his work. Präuscher’s Panopticon presents on the one hand a book by the photographer never published, where the shots taken in a wax museum mingle between scenes of life, cherubs and anatomical images. Three rooms that take us into a strange universe, sometimes bright, sometimes disturbing but which shows the photographer’s talent for composing a still life and finding the perfect angle. This is also what emerges from the second part of the exhibition devoted to his photos of young men and sculptures rediscovered in the 2000s, which show the visual language and queer imagery that the photographer manages to subtly diffuse in his shots. , since the 1940s.

The journey continues and before arriving at the great exhibition of the Hall of Contemporary Art, the House of Arts in Hamburg invites us to settle down, immersed in darkness. Photofantasma takes us on a video journey through the trees. In the first room, a gigantic vertical video in red tones invites us to fly over the forests then to dive inside a trunk. On the other side, a large screen, as if in levitation, is viewed in both directions and immerses us visually and olfactorily in a forest, playing with images, green backgrounds to make us discover the themes and issues of the forest and of the timber industry.

Leaving this haven of peace, the noise of the city becomes all the more lively, but a few hundred meters further, you can already enter PHOXXI, a large ephemeral room made of stacked containers. In this new exhibition space imagined by the Maison de la photographie during its construction, an exhibition is held face to face. The curators, questioning the notion of currency (value), have placed images captured by Christoph Irrgang of the intimate work of transferring the collections of the Museum of Photography against photos gleaned from Paris Photo, a noisy event that brings together photographers from all over the world. . The curators wanted to confront silence, softness with color, an overload to question the value of photography.

Just on the other side of the street, under the grandiose Hall of Contemporary Art, Photography Beyond capture allows us to end this route of exhibitions in style. Created by curators Koyo Kouoh, Rasha Salti, Gabriella Beckhurst Feijoo and Oluremi C. Onabanjo, it brings together the works of 29 international artists. Koyo Kouoh explains: “we didn’t want to highlight the most fashionable, most fashionable artists, but we brought together photographers from different generations and countries whose work has meaning today to show what that photography can mean. Message received and well understood since it is a real diversity of genre and aesthetics that strikes while browsing this open space, composed of floating themes which mingle and intersect and which manage to become one. We were struck by several series of this last exhibition, such as Ephemeral Landscapes by Anne-Marie Filaire, ephemeral geographies born from the extraction of earth and rocks for the Paris Olympics, While Night Comes On Gently by Clifford Prince King , which shows that the photographer can take on the role of an internal element of the subject, up close, or Sakhawood by Alexey Vasilyev, which takes us with sweetness and fantasy to a distant Russian region that has for years become a filming location for unique movies.

With our feet boiling, we end this tour of the 12 exhibitions of the Hamburg Photographic Triennial with the joy of having questioned and experienced the value of photography through the work of pioneering photographers, those who try to archive and preserve traces of the past, but also those who reclaim these materials today to question, move forward, and those who continue to experiment, research and bring this medium to life.

8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg 2022

12 exhibitions in Hamburg

May 20-September 18, 2022
Opening weekend: May 20-22, 2022

Festival and launch Extended Triennial: June 2-6, 2022

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