After a first tour of Hamburg that 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 to 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, at once modern, industrial and authentic, the exhibition devoted to Charlotte March invites us to discover the district of Hamburg-Harburg. In the Falckenberg Collection in the south of the city, the photographer, known for her fashion photos, reveals herself. But it is with her pictures of life scenes, of streets, taken in the 50s between two shootings, that the curators have chosen to welcome visitors. Humanistic photos, close to the subject, which contrast with the sophistication of her fashion photographs, presented on the first floor. A way to discover the unsuspected value of the Hamburg photographer’s little-known photos.
The Hamburg-born photographer Albert List is also on display 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 in this place. The Magic eye presents 240 prints that thematically review the diversity of his work. We walk 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 man who would become a major photographer in various styles: Portraits, still lifes, landscapes… Images of Italian landscapes, ancient columns and Greek statues answer each other throughout the spaces, faces of accomplices artists, intertwined bodies follow one another, until ending with more unknown photos of reportages that confirm the artistic and creative palette of the photographer.
And to extend the journey into 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 of the photographer never published, where shots taken in a wax museum are mixed between life scenes, cherubs and anatomical images. Three rooms that take us into a strange universe, sometimes light, sometimes disturbing but which shows the talent of the photographer to compose a still life and find the perfect angle. This is also what emerges from the second part of the exhibition dedicated to his photos of young men and sculptures rediscovered in the 2000s, which show the visual language and queer imagery that the photographer managed to subtly diffuse in his photos, since the 1940s.
The journey continues and before arriving at the great exhibition of the Hall for contemporary art, the Hamburg House of Arts invites us to settle down, immersed in the 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 and then dive into the interior of a trunk. On the other side, a large screen, as if in levitation, is viewed in both directions and immerses us visually and olfactory in a forest, playing with images, green backgrounds to make us discover the themes and issues of the forest and the wood industry.
As we leave this haven, the noise of the city becomes all the more vivid, but a few hundred meters further on, we can already enter PHOXXI, a large temporary room made of stacked containers. In this new exhibition space imagined by the Maison de la photographie during its construction, an exhibition is held that is experienced 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 around the world. The curators wanted to confront silence, softness with color, an overload to question the value of photography.
Just across the street, under the grandiose Hall for contemporary art, Photography Beyond capture allows us to end this tour of exhibitions in style. Imagined by the curators Koyo Kouoh, Rasha Salti, Gabriella Beckhurst Feijoo and Oluremi C. Onabanjo, it gathers the works of 29 international artists. Koyo Kouoh explains: “we did not want to put forward the most fashionable artists, the most in vogue, but we have brought together photographers of different generations and countries whose work has a meaning today to show what photography can mean. Message received and well understood since it is a true diversity of genre and aesthetics that strikes while browsing this open space, composed of floating themes that mingle and intersect and that manages to become one. We were struck by several series in this last exhibition, such as Anne-Marie Filaire’s Temporary Landscapes, temporary geographies born of the extraction of earth and rocks for the Paris Olympics, Clifford Prince King’s While Night Comes On Gently, which shows that the photographer can assume the role of an internal element of the subject, as close as possible, or Alexey Vasilyev’s Sakhawood, which takes us with gentleness and fantasy to a remote Russian region that has become for years a place for the filming of singular films.
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 the traces of the past, but also those who today reappropriate these materials to question, to move forward, and those who continue to experiment, to search and to 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 Triennial Expanded: June 2-6, 2022
All additional information at: www.phototriennale.de