Bernd and Hilla Becher
An exhibition of the works of 31 photographers from the 1960s to the present day. It explores the history and perspectives of the 'documentary style' of photography. Integrated are three successive Project Rooms organized by 3 guest curators and each taking place for the duration of one month. On 1.11.2011 Markus Schaden will be setting up a study room devoted to the photography book as a 'storage medium' and collector's item.
curated by Inka Schube
Photography calling! is an exhibition of the works of 31 photographers on a floor area of over 2,000 square metres. Since How you look at it in 2000, this exhibition is the first and only one to provide an all-embracing overview of artistic photography from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibition has been organized by the Sprengel Museum Hannover in collaboration with the Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation. Starting out from the Foundation’s collection of large groups of works by both American and European photographers, the only collection of its kind in Europe, the exhibition explores the history and perspectives of the ‘documentary style’ of photography.
Photography calling! constitutes yet a further step towards establishing Hanover as an important centre for artistic photography in the north of Germany.
The starting points of the exhibition are the works of Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, John Gossage, Nicholas Nixon, Martin Parr and Michael Schmidt. The artist photographers Rineke Dijkstra, Paul Graham, Thomas Struth and the photographers of the generations that followed, such as Jitka Hanzlová, Stephen Gill, Jochen Lempert, Elisabeth Neudörfl, Heidi Specker and Tobias Zielony, visualize the world with a style of photography that adheres strictly to the medium and yet is highly subjective. Max Baumann, Boris Mikhailov, Rita Ostrowskaja and Helga Paris extend the perspective with experiences of their own confrontations with different political systems, while Laura Bielau, Thomas Demand, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Wolfgang Tillmans and Jeff Wall use the documentary style of photography as a means of exemplifying the phenomena of visual perception. Many of the works are being exhibited for the very first time.
Integrated into the exhibition are three successive Project Rooms organized by three guest curators and each taking place for the duration of one month. They thematize three different methods of collecting and three different ways of using photography.
From 9.10. until 30.10.2011 the artist Thierry Geoffroy will investigate the idea behind the title of the exhibition – Photography calling! – and ask: Who calls whom and what, and for what purpose, and out of what interests? On 1.11.2011 Markus Schaden will be setting up a study room devoted to the photography book as a ‘storage medium’ and collector’s item. From 6.12.2011 until 15.1.2012 Wilhelm Schürmann will be exposing the obsessions that can be the driving force behind a private collection of photographs, graphics, paintings and sculptures.
In the run-up to the exhibition How you look at it at the Sprengel Museum Hannover, which was curated by Thomas Weski and Heinz Liesbrock on the occasion of EXPO 2000, the Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation began to purchase comprehensive groups of works by selected American and European photographers. Since then, the collecting activity of the Foundation has been focused on those works of photography that may be understood to be in the tradition of the ‘documentary style’ (Walker Evans, 1903-1975) and have been exercising a strong influence on photography since the end of the 1960s. Thus it has been possible – thanks not least to the recommendations of a high-calibre advisory board – to build up a photographic collection distinguished by its concentration on groups of works. In this regard the collection is unique in Europe.
The Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation’s collection and its perspective are now to be the subject of the present exhibition, which is being mounted jointly with the Sprengel Museum Hannover and also in the context of the Museum’s own well-cultivated photography tradition, which began in 1979 and can boast exhibitions of such great exponents of photography as Karl Blossfeldt, El Lissitzky, Judith Joy Ross and Michael Schmidt, to name only a few of many, or the “SPECTRUM” International Prize for Photography of the Foundation of Lower Saxony. ‘Collecting’ manifests itself here as an open system that operates self-reflexively in the aforementioned Project Rooms and is future-oriented and discussion-friendly in the exhibition’s supplementary events.
Photography calling! is accompanied by a copious publication (Steidl, Göttingen). Visitors will also be offered a comprehensive information programme.
The exhibition has been curated by Inka Schube, Curator for Photography and Media Art, Sprengel Museum Hannover, and Thomas Weski, Professor of “Curatorial Cultures”, Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig.
Catalogue: 29 € (approx. 460 pages), published by Steidl/Göttingen
Exhibition Guide Book (German/English)
Image: Tobias Zielony, 13 Ball, from: Trona – Armpit of America, 2008 Courtesy Sammlung Halke © Tobias Zielony
Dr. Isabelle Schwarz T +49-(0)511 16843924 / F +49-(0)511 16845093 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sprengel Museum Hannover
Kurt-Schwitters-Platz 30169 Hannover
Tuesdays: 10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
Closed on Mondays
Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve
New Year's Day: 1 pm – 6 pm
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Free entrance on friday
Group ticket reductions for 10 persons and over: EURO 5; special reductions EURO 3.50