Opening: Friday, 16 November 2018, 7pm
Duration: 17 November 2018 to 20 January 2019
Nadine Blanke, Michaela Booth, Tom Brooks, Eva Grillhösl, Peng Hao, Markus Hermann, Sophia Paeslack, Alice Palchetti, Ladan Rezaeian, Bilal El Soussi, Benita Suchodrev
“imagine” is a group show of participants of photographer Eva Bertram’s workshop “Freie Klasse 2017/18“. Be it in exile, on the road, at home or as an asylum seeker – the photographers gathering in Berlin are all from different backgrounds. Their photo projects, mixed-media installations and performances using their own body reflect on various levels and in very personal ways upon our cognitive abilities (and the boundaries thereof) and call upon our imagination which is mainly influenced by our cultural beliefs.
“imagine” was curated by Eva Bertram who is a freelance photographer and faculty member at Neue Schule für Fotografie and UdK Berlin. She has been hosting the Freie Klasse since 2013. The workshop with the open topic “augenfällig unscheinbar” (“apparently inconspicuous”) was designed to accompany personal work created outside the school or university setting.
Performances Bilal El Soussi
Friday, 16 November 2018, 8pm (during the opening)
Saturday, 15 December 2018, 3pm
Sunday, 20 January 2019, 3pm (last day of exhibition)
Opening hours galery: Thursday to Sunday, 1 to 6pm
Closing days around christmas:
20 December 2018 to 6 January 2019
“Foam with coffee powder” (work in progress)
“Sensuality – neuro-biologically – is the ability to subconsciously associate sensations with sexuality.” – Marc Chatenieu, from: “Die sogenannte Sünde”
To photograph women – mothers – naked. Without employing the usual pictorial parameters of the “classical nude”. Accepting associative spaces that live up to the complexity and individuality of desire, sensuality, and sexuality. These are the motivations behind “Foam with coffee powder”.
“When it comes back, the light”
My senses are sharpened, nature transforms into a soundboard for my self-reflection. I feel myself and perceive the world from this new contemplative attitude. I ask existential questions as to the why, where from and where to.
A book is published to accompany the exhibition: A4, 60 pages, digital printing
“Looking at a rainbow”
When apartheid ended 25 years ago, Nelson Mandela envisioned a rainbow nation with equal opportunities for all. Tracing his legacy with my camera today, I realize that the country’s long journey from its cultural roots to its present political status lends South Africa many different faces, albeit their images oftentimes raise more questions than they answer. It is, however, exactly what I see in these pictures that makes the rainbow so special there.
A book is published to accompany the exhibition: 100 pages, DIN A4, hardcover, digital printing.
My father has a toothpick which he keeps in his leather jacket’s pocket and which he uses whenever needed. It has been doing its job for years and I think it should be changed and start its well-deserved retirement. All attempts to persuade my dad to get a new toothpick were in vain. I therefore had to find new ways and strategies to gain his interest and started looking in the entire world.
“The body is sometimes connected to the space. The curves pass from the body to the architecture and back, creating a rhythm between the two.” – Peng Hao
The minimalist abstract black-and-white photographs of human body parts and architectural details, kept sometimes in soft shades, sometimes in stark contrasts, fluctuate between two- and three-dimensional and encourage the viewer to reflect on the basic questions of our perception.
Thoughts, day dreams.
That haunt me.
A part of me.
Accompanying my life.
Making me grow.
That I don’t want to miss.
(In “concipere” I focus on fears, sexual phantasies, narcissism, symbioses and forms of dominance.)
Means loneliness, too.
Means being caught.
In a closed, detached space.
Of a hotel room.
On the road.
Travelling also means freedom.
(With “viare”, I want to capture my thoughts that are born in the isolation of a hotel room.)
“I’ll always be 7 years old / Song”
is a book project that started in 2017 with the book “4 – warum wachsen Menschen automatisch?” (“4 – why do humans grow automatically?”) in which Sophia Paeslack recorded photographs and quotes of her son at a time when children start asking questions and develop their own explanatory model of the world. In her new book she continues the story. This time, her son contributed some song lyrics which tell us about the fears, dreams, and hopes of a seven-year-old. Sophia Paeslack’s goal is again to capture the immediate universal perspective and sensibility of this short period in the life of a human being.
A book is published to accompany the exhibition: 24 x 18 cm, 60 pages, digital printing, stitched
“Symphony of Life”
The word “symphony” comes from Greek and consists of “syn” (together) and “phōne” (sound). Combining different media I created a connection – sometimes stronger, sometimes more subtle – between musical language and visual storytelling.
As in a classical symphony, the project has four movements whereas each movement represents a microcosm with its own character – its own tempo, language and structure, sometimes expansive, sometimes pensive, sometimes dance-like. Despite those differences the displayed realms are connected to the feeling of being which is present as an ambient noise at all times and forces us to move on wherever. A pulsating heart as the only common life element.
“of course not”
I photograph Iranians living in Berlin because I myself am Iranian. Through this project I would like to find out why my compatriots left their country, which hopes brought them to Germany and whether those hopes have become true. With my photographs I try to express what their home country still means to them today. The portraits are supposed to render the subjects more tangible to the viewer.
Bilal El Soussi
“Not my water”
“Not my water” is a multi-media confrontation with atypical life situations. The idea for this autobiographical project is based on the seemingly insuperable circumstances under which the photographer has lived in Germany in the past four years. Shifting between the uncomforting feelings of homesickness, threat to survive and the fear of the unknown and unjust, El Soussi constantly oscillates between destructive ambivalence and collapse. Everyday life is a struggle to survive and the attempt to find the gaps in the system to get one step further out of chaos.
The highly bureaucratic complexity of his own situation has turned the self-taught photographer into a master of survival. For this series he logged himself in his home for four weeks in order to experiment and build the displayed installation, to stage himself and document the whole process. In order for the viewer to fully come to terms with his everyday life situation, the installation is accompanied by film clips of the making of, sound recordings and text documents.
“Who Do You Think I Am”
With the kind support of Burghard Vogel Motion Design (www.guricht.tv)
The multi-media installation “Who Do You Think I Am” is based on a photographic series of at once ambivalent and striking self-staging scenarios by the Russian-American portrait and documentary photographer Benita Suchodrev, taken in bizarre, thematically designed rooms of a former “Art Installation” hotel in Berlin. The series is built on manufactured “disturbances” of image and space where identity and the “real” are both questioned and taken for granted.
Surrounded by selected props, the photographer ironically questions her fictitious “quasi-identities”, behind whose feminine and glamorous façade flash artificiality, compulsiveness, external control, abundance, solitude and void. Suchodrev wears a skin-colored latex dress that serves as a “sheath” and second skin that simultaneously protects, exposes and “confines” her.
Through the digital sequencing and selective animation of individual photographic stills, the two-dimensional, partially self-reflexive images are vivified and “decomposed”, thus creating new aesthetic dimensions of these metaphorical “disturbances of the self” whose ambiguity is in focus here.