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Galerie des Minimes : Dieter Appelt & Astrid Staes : The Echo of the Ruins


The Galerie des Minimes presents the exhibition “L’écho des ruines”, that brings into resonance two artists – Astrid Staes & Dieter Appelt, whose themes and questions intersect. Through demanding work with analogic photography, these two artists offer an introspective and evocative experience, transcending the boundaries of traditional photography. The works on display reveal the emotional and philosophical depth of the two artists, capturing the very essence of the human condition in a world in perpetual transformation.

“L’écho des ruines” is much more than a simple compilation of images; it is a deep immersion into the artists’ inner questions about life, death and transformation. Astrid Staes, a young French photographer, guides us through abandoned places, carrying a rich past and a desolation that resonates with our own experiences. Her meticulous film work captures the ephemeral beauty of ruins, revealing the resilience and power of the process of degradation and renewal. Her photographs, chiselled by light and shadow, evoke a meditation on the nature of existence. She searches for her own image in silent places and destroyed buildings.

At the same time, the works of Dieter Appelt, a renowned German artist, bring an additional dimension to the exhibition. His experimental exploration of the human body and desolate landscapes creates a fascinating dialogue with the work of Astrid Staes. Through strikingly intense visual performances, Appelt highlights themes of resilience and transformation, inviting viewers to reflect on their own relationship to life and death. His photos give a particular brilliance to the violence. It is deeply aesthetic.

This exchange is developed in similarities and differences. Thus, if they both explore the passing of time, Dieter Appelt makes it palpable, he even offers it a measure: his body which changes allows it to give a rhythm, it thus shows the duration. He depicts it in intense photographs. Astrid Staes illustrates it, on the contrary, by conscientiously erasing the body from the frame. The image of ruins offered to the sun or the night makes history and anchors a memory. This is quite explicit for the photographer for whom the ruins are the trace of a bygone age, of a passage. They are therefore at the root of an identity, they firmly connect the past to the present.

An eloquent dialogue unfolds between the two artists, in silence. The photographs that Dieter “stacks” and those of Astrid placed face to face, are like tirades: they are two solitudes which change each other and break isolation.

Finally, the ruins present a dichotomy for the two photographers: it is a question of desolation as well as cyclicality. They are not naked, they are dressed in suggestive shadows. The two artists, true alchemists, reveal violence in perfect stillness. They also breathe life into the void. Their works give an acceptable form to the incomprehensible.


On February 24 at 5 p.m. at the gallery, Françoise Paviot will host a discussion with Domitille d’Orgeval, doctor in Art History and curator, offering a better understanding of the work of Dieter Appelt and its dialogue with that of Astrid Staes.

Dieter Appelt & Astrid Staes : L’écho des ruines
Until March 3, 2024
Galerie des Minimes
13 rue des Minimes
75003 Paris

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