Nowhere - on persons and landscapes

The Exhibition brings together three Norwegian and five German artists. What they all have in common is that their work has either constantly or at least over the course of several series dealt with areas and places that are remote, that hardly anyone can find, that are empty, places on the periphery of the "great streams of movement".

In the case of the Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang it is the region in northern Norway that is far away from the capital Oslo and the other two larger cities Trondheim and Bergen. Here, people live at a great distance from each other, and many of the boys move away after finishing school. The landscape is barren and the days are extremely short in winter. The internet makes it possible for people to see what is happening out in the world more than before, but at the same time it awakens a longing for the "other life" out there. "Everybody knows this is nowhere" is the apt title of her series.

In her artistic work Dana Engfer explores places unknown to her and she works with making the absent visible. An intuitive process of approach leads her to traces of the past, personal stories and intermediate states. She collects and archives fragments of memory from her immediate surroundings in multimedia form.
The exhibited works were created in Reykjavik and the Westfjords of Iceland. During her stays there, Dana Engfer has captured her surroundings photographically, looking for scenarios that are in the process of dissolving, that are about to disappear -and are intangible. For example, during a boat trip in the fjord off Hólmavik, where she was lucky enough to see whales, she photographed the surface of the sea, on which a kind of water circle forms for only a short time after a whale has dived - the last trace of an event that has already passed.

Nesbyen, the place where Espen Eichhöfer grew up is not quite so far north, but it is also a small, inconspicuous place in the Norwegian province. Over the years, Eichhöfer has returned to the region again and again to continue working on his personal long-term project "Papa, Gerd und der Nordmann" (Papa, Gerd and the Northman), in which he repeatedly relates people close to him to the dwellings in which they live, but also to the vastness and loneliness of the Norwegian landscape.

If it takes you a while to get to the remote Norwegian provinces, in comparison Kathrin Tschirner travelled much further and visited one of the most remote regions on earth, south-eastern Siberia. Here, in the city of Ulan Ude near Lake Baikal, she accompanied young people for a while who compete in so-called "dance battles" in their free time on the streets and rural open spaces of their hometown. Here again, the extreme influence of the internet becomes clear, thanks to which trends of global pop culture penetrate to the furthest corners and can not only be assimilated there, but also influenced in the opposite direction by uploading self-recorded videos. However, in the long run, this interaction is not enough to compensate for the feeling of "living at the end of the world".

- Espen Tveit , on the other hand, went to the vastness of the south-western American wasteland several times at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s and took a whole series of black-and-white photographs there, which capture the enigmatic nature of this barren landscape, the architecture and the people in an exemplary way and with great formal sharpness.

A method of working that is comparable in many respects is pursued by Andreas TrogischThis is not only due to the fact that he also prefers to work with black-and-white films. The photographic gaze is also similar, the search for spaces of urban emptiness and the people who seem lost in them, a clear and definite composition of surfaces delineated by light and shadow. Trogisch, who began his photographic search for metaphysical non-places in the "building scenery" of the GDR of the 1980s, marked by morbid patina, continued this search unflinchingly after the fall of the Wall.

Thomas Fißler has repeatedly made longer trips to the south of the Iberian peninsula in recent years. There, where the bulk of Europe's vegetable needs are now grown even before the Netherlands, he was both disturbed and fascinated by the enormous expanses of fields covered in plastic sheeting, a necessity in order to produce maximum yields throughout the year. His photos show a new, monstrous nowhere on the edge of Europe, created by massive human over-forming of the landscape.

How do you stage a vision? Franca Wohlts series "New Space", which she has been working on since 2019, attempts to recreate this. Contrary to her usual documentary approach, she recreates images of technical developments and research laboratories. The "New Space" movement, dominated by private companies, speculates with services whose delivery can rarely be guaranteed. Photographs are used to persuade people and are part of sophisticated marketing strategies. Wohlt's photographs could thus be seen as visionary and consequently as a document of progress. At the same time, however, a critical, doubtful view is also possible, questioning the truthfulness of the images and their actual content.

Exhibition duration: 17 December 2022 to 12 February 2023
open: Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 17h

"No Man is An Island"
Foto: Andrea Gjestvang,aus der Serie Faröer 5





Espen Eichhöfer ist langjähriges Mitgliedschaft in der Fotoagentur "Ostkreuz" und kann daher auf eine umfangreiche Ausstellungshistorie verweisen (z.B. im letzten Jahr die große Retrospektive "Kontinent: Auf der Suche nach Europa" in der Akademie der Künste, Berlin)

Dana Engfers works have been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Russia and the USA.

Andrea Gjestvang became known to a larger audience nationwide through the award "Photograper of the year 2013" for her series "one day in history" as part of the "Sony Photography World Awards". This year she had a presentation of this series at the Norwegian Museum of Photography to mark the 10th anniversary of the Utoya attacks.

Andreas Trogisch is a long-standing member of the "German Photographic Academy" and has exhibited extensively at home and abroad.

Espen Tveit is one of the few Norwegian artists who have been represented by the renowned Oslo "Galleri K" for years.

Kathrin Tschirner after graduating from HAW Hamburg, worked for many years with Ute Mahler at the AFF Gallery, which is very important for the Berlin photography scene.

Thomas Fißler has been represented by the Dresden gallery "Ursula Walter" since 2013, which received the Art Prize of the City of Dresden in 2018. Last year, numerous of his works were purchased by the "Kulturstiftung des Landes Sachsen".

Franca Wohlt is co-founder and curator of the AFF Gallery, a platform for contemporary photography in Berlin, and lecturer at the "Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie" Berlin.

Gunnar Borbe, Curator