On occasion of the 7. Wiesbaden Festival for Contemporary Photography (Central opening reception at Kunsthaus Wiesbaden), the NKV assembles 15 regional and international positions in a group show.
Thematically the exhibition displays - as the title implies - on the one hand pictures as a private matter, which are normally inaccessible for the public, on the other hand pictures, which take up and reflect on private moments and relations. Overall the exhibition refers to the border shift between privacy and public in times of social media and internet. To what extent does this development reflect in pictures and their reception? Do we have a different view on photographs knowing their private context?

With his series BEBRA CURIOSA, Axel Beyer creates special spatial forms. The photographs of the German town Bebra are montages of exteriors and interiors, which seem familiar, with houses and roads from small urban and rural areas, but at the same time disturb our viewing habits with the unusual picture combination and bizarre perspectives. Beyer consolidates aspects of a typical small German town, which, because or despite of the absence of human protagonists, narrates so much about the private areas and the life therein.
In the series THROUGH THE KHIMAR, a completely different „physical“ private area, Johannes Heinke offers a perspective view otherwise hidden to the public: On the basis of his observations in Damascus, where many women are veiled and even the eyes are covered by the black Niqab Heinke photographed through the material of this garment.
The photos of the artist couple Unity Art Nabiha + Thom are in direct contrast to the veiled individual, withdrawing itself from the public view. Since 1997 Unity Art keep a visual diary, recording their life with self-portraits of themselves. The range of the project varies from archival documentation, due to their consequence and abundance on the one hand, to snapshots and YouTube aesthetic, experimenting with defocus, colour and cut-outs. Ten editions of the GEO international magazine 10/2010, from different countries and languages, with a double page on the Unity Art project, will be on display at the NKV.
The fact, that the portrait photos by Arkadiusz Wojciechowski shown in the exhibition, were not meant for the broad public is obvious: failed portrait photographs, where the protagonists lose control of mimic and gesture in the crucial moment of exposure. Wojciechowski moves pictures into the focus of the interest, which would normally be disposed of, or locked away, leaving the viewer to share a specific form of privacy.
The photographs of Marc Peschke, the Lichtaschtun Kollective and Paula Winkler circle around private fantasies: While those take the night as the cause or motive, creating with digital image editing a subjective and fragmentary diary and surrealistic dream worlds, Paula Winkler illustrates a special and intimate relationship between photographer and motive, stretching and exploring private borders.
One can certify that Joanna Nottebrock, who accompanied the work of the criminal investigation department in Hanover, is crossing borders and that her photographs confront the viewer with human chasms and death. Her pictures show the area of crime scene investigation and documentation, to which the public usually have no access. This drastic subject demands a decision, to what extent one wants to get involved in these TRACES OF HUMAN CHASMS visualized here.
Katja Hammerles photographs own an ethereally seeming aesthetic. She conceives them as „nerve tracts “, taking up different motives. In the NKV they strike a bridge between the first and second floor, in which "privacy" becomes more and more consolidated and thus produces a compressed intimacy in the public showrooms.
Wolfgang Gemmer created a found footage slide collage as space sculpture from through which the viewer can pass. Everyday scenes and personal moments seem on the one hand familiar, since one may find similar photos in probably every photo album, but of at the same time also disconcerting, since the people always remain unknown, even if one can follow the private stages of their life.
Very personal chronicles are documented by Craig F. Walker and Phillip Toledano. Walker accompanied the young American Ian Fisher for 27 months, who, after Highschool, joined the U.S. Army with 17, deployed in the Iraq and finally returned back to civilian daily life. For the series IAN FISHER, AMERICAN SOLDIER, the tale of one young man’s precarious struggle to transform his life, Walker received the Pulitzer Prize 2010. In the series DAYS WITH MY FATHER Phillip Toledano describes, with the same intensity, after the sudden death of his mother, his life with his father suffering from dementia. Toledanos diary-like photos are full of sympathy and love, but also lead to the painful, inevitable farewell of the loved one.
In her multimedia installation Hee-Seon Kim produces the private moment as an art form. Using a telescope, the viewer can look into a large number of windows and watch "the neighbours" publicly. He is no longer a voyeur of contemplative genre scenes, but ”in the age of the megacities and facebook” a participant in events in a multiplicity of private areas.
Michael Göbel asks, how much official documents reveal about the person, they are related to.  1999 he began to work on a photographic sculpture, which shows his self-portrait on the back of folders containing personal files.
The series SATELLITE by Martina Hoogland Ivanow can be read as number of photographic short stories, pointing out different alternative Communities and circles around exclusion. Not only love and family affairs of the portrayed persons are examined in the pictures, they also question the "outside" and the exclusion, addressing the viewers and encouraging their personal self reflection.

Supported by Art Regio

Axel Beyer: Bebra 01 (2010).

Trautes Heim, Glück allein


Axel Beyer / Wolfgang Gemmer / Katja Hammerle / Johannes Heinke / Martina Hoogland Ivanow / Hee-Seon Kim / Lichtaschtun Kollective / Joanna Nottebrock / Marc Peschke / Phillip Toledano / Unity Art Nabiha + Thom / Paula Winkler / Arkadiusz Wojciechowski

Opening: September 10, 2011, 5 to 8 pm, Exhibition opens at 1 pm

curated by Dr. Elke Ullrich, Sara Stehr and Katharina Stockmann