On Disappearance and Appearance— The Ephemeral in Photography

In her portraits of spaces, photographer Nicole Ahland (b. 1970) seeks to pick up on and experience moods and site-specific atmospheres. Her images are the result of an intensive “feeling out” of specific places, which enables her to sense what Theodor Lipps defines as Raumgefühl, the feeling of space. A poignant silence also characterizes the work of Finnish photographer Ida Pimenoff (b. 1977), who captures the specific mood of twilight in her images. With Ellen Auerbach (1906-2004) and Alfred Ehrhardt (1901-1984), derelict interiors vanish in tangible ways: “Traces of time and aging are what lend things the insignia of presence,” is how Gernot Böhme describes the specific atmosphere of the ephemeral, a “co-manifestation of existence.” This is especially evident in the previously unknown images of ruins of Alfred Ehrhardt, created shortly after the bombing of his Hamburg apartment building in 1942.

Clouds often serve as the subject of the amorphous and ephemeral, for instance, in the photographs of Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950) and César Martins (b. 1981). Magical things often occur in the photographs of Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti, creating in the viewer the sensation of entering a dream world that exerts a magical pull. Here the sky is depicted from earth, but in the images of César Martins, the Portuguese-born photographer ventures up into the clouds to capture them from the sublime perspective of flying. Photographer Marianne Ostermann (b. 1950) concentrates on the ephemeral appearance of frost patterns. Photographed through icy windows, she develops the images as cyanotypes, blurring the motifs in a velvety blue. Blue as a color of longing defines Finnish photographer Jorma Puranen’s (b. 1951) image series Icy Prospects. His photographs of the Arctic landscape recall frozen dreamscapes. In actuality, the works are reflections of the landscape on a varnished wooden board—even the limits of reality, perception, and imagination are ephemeral, fleeting, and not easy to pin down.

Accompanying events:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 7pm: Lecture by Prof. Dr. Gernot Böhme on the Ephemeral
Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 7pm: Performance and lecture by Prof. Dr. Ferenc Jádi
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 4‒6pm: Finissage

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