press release

With Deutschlandbilder – Images of Germany the Goethe-Institut presents in two parts (PART TWO: 10.11.-15.12.2010) works by eight members of the Berlin-based photographic agency OSTKREUZ. The photographers offer a multifaceted panorama of the supposedly familiar and the new. In their survey the OSTKREUZ members raise fundamental questions – such as what distinguishes a sense of belonging from what is alien, such as identity and the future, people's personal needs and their desires, everyday life and the unconventional. One recurrent theme in all photographic sequences is the concept of native identity or homeland – formulated in the pervasive yet elusive German term Heimat – as a geographical, social and political determinant, but also as an expression of sentiments and desires.

PART ONE: Thomas Meyer, Jordis Antonia Schlösser, Sibylle Bergemann, Wolfgang Bellwinkel

Thomas Meyer captures the feeling of Heimat by depicting the unspoilt natural beauty of North Sea island Spiekeroog. Jordis Antonia Schlösser draws our attention to economic and social questions by dealing with the loss of Heimat in regions affected by depopulation: Halle-Neustadt and Garzweiler. Sybille Bergemann embarks on a sensitive investigation of her GDR past, while Wolfgang Bellwinkel asks the younger generation about their ideas of Heimat and personal happiness.

PART TWO: Anne Schönharting, Annette Hauschild, Ute Mahler, Linn Schröder

Anne Schönharting draws the viewer’s attention to the provisionary Heimat offered to abandoned children in a former school. Annette Hauschild observes Sunday afternoon habits with a fine sense of irony. Ute Mahler shows us the vitality of the elderly; and finally Linn Schröder reveals the poetic quality of everyday life, recording this with evocative snap-shots.

This exhibition was produced by OSTKREUZ in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of its founding in 1990. Deutschlandbilder - Images of Germany was first shown in a comprehensive group exhibition of all seventeen OSTKREUZ photographers in October 2005 in Berlin. Eight characteristic positions from the Berlin show were selected for the Goethe-Institut's touring exhibition.

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Künstler: Thomas Meyer, Jordis Antonia Schlösser, Sibylle Bergemann, Wolfgang Bellwinkel