EXHIBITION VHS-PHOTOGALERIE, STUTTGART, OCTOBER 2017
SHOPS – syria, cuba, marocco, spain, sri lanka
SHOPS – syria, cuba, marocco, spain, sri lanka
entstanden während des stipendiums am
centro tedesco di studi veneziani 2004
a farmer, an engineer and a civil servant – three male identities are stereotypically constructed in the series hesheandi. rapidly received phenomenologically, recognition of a picture puzzle grows only with increasing contemplation: the subject seems to be variables of one person which, on account of visible androgyny, are legible as woman in male role. they are self-portraits of the photographer, she slips into a male and additionally into a female role: thus, brother and sister encounter each other in some shots. the three narratively staged lives of the man could have been that of the brother who passed away 40 years ago. this self-reflective performance plays with the splitting of identity within a heteronormative, binary construct surrounding gender roles.
cologne opera house, one of the centrepieces of cologne’s 1950s architecture, is at the focus of the artistic work ENCANTO – DIE OPER KÖLN.
the series shows the whole opera house in cologne as a unique architectonic stage. representative areas and also the spaces hidden to the public behind the stage are shown in fragments. laconic and packed with details, the fragments reveal traces of a theatre’s life spanning 60 years. the sober look at the rooms is given an emphemeral layer by the surprisingly recurrent presence of the figure of carmen. she shows herself in flowing and transparent form, full of emotional richness and magic. this is like a staging outside of the stage, in which the artistic universe of opera unfolds in a previously unheard-of, soundless primal state as though telling its own story. the wonderfully enigmatic appearance in the opera house is thus shaped into an image in its own right.
“We cannot escape fashion, and we cannot do without architecture. We tailor to both. We all wear fashion and everyone needs architecture as a place to work or to live in. Fashion, architecture and design stay with us throughout our lives. They express an awareness of life, they are part of our culture and also play an important role as an economic factor. … The subtle relationship between people, space, time and fashion depicted by Regina Relang is also a characteristic feature of the series of fashion shots by Cologne-based architect and photographer Anja Schlamann. She takes a very personal and individual approach, very different to that of overly groomed and hyper-aesthetic advertising and fashion photography. In the series “Sie” – or “She” – produced over a period of three years, Anja Schlamann depicts fashion in unusual and spectacular spaces that are otherwise seldom seen. Here she blurs the borders between art, fashion and architectural photography. The series “Sie” shows Anja Schlamann at locations she has chosen herself.
“shop counters are offerings: if it is on the counter, it is on display and for sale. where climatically possible, the shop counter marks the boundary between inside and out. inside stands the shopkeeper, buyers stand outside, the goods are between them. as an ensemble shop counters are an architectural theme that is as ancient as it is fascinating – and when they are collected so compellingly throughout the world as they are by anja schlamann, they are what’s more a seductive offering made to the eye. the work shows shop counters from damascus, the oldest city in the world, from morocco and from cuba, the last stronghold of communist shadow economy. here, the presentations of spices and delicacies carefully calculated for centuries, there, the spontaneously deposited staple foods and spare parts: the counters bear the responsibility for daily survival and cultural added value alike. and behind the counter stand shopkeepers who see themselves in the picture, for anja schlamann draws their attention to themselves, quite deliberately: once more photography proves to be a machine generating symbols and myths, thanks be to anja schlamann.”
One of the European regions, which are in competition with each other is the border area between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It is considered as a separate cultural area. A research project of the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen called “Euregio Charlemagne” tries to find the reasons for these differing aspects of these regions. Under leadership of Prof. Christian Uwer several authors of the region have tried to describe some aspects of their region in a series of scientific essays. Attendant there is a photography essay done by the photographer Anja Schlamann. These photographs document the different cultural physiognomies and they can be viewed in this exhibition for the first time.