empathy

Reflecting Portraits

When we look at a portrait, we usually focus on the subject in question; we imagine the story behind it, the person’s character and state of mind… Through the sensible eye of the artist and just by using an image, portraits can be very powerful and deep. But what happens when the portrait becomes a secondary portrait itself?

Mind-boggling self inquiry

Nina Hoffmann decided to explore this world of reflecting portraits, and by putting together artwork from several artists, she really gets to the point that she was aiming at: all of the selected works are complimented by the fact that the very touching and intense portraits become at the same time portraits of the artists themselves.

Strangely enough, with the understanding that not even a single piece was created for the show itself, each piece appears created just to be placed next to the other as if from birth.

What are you doing?!

Through video and photographic media each piece is brilliant and penetrating. Lukas Hoffmann, for example, uses the questioning expression of a young girl he met in New Zealand in Rachel (2006). A profound look clearly gives us a chance to imagine perfectly what was going on in that moment, and strangely, instead of smiling or posing, knowing that she was being photographed, she maintains her interrogative eyes. Interrogation that runs through each spectator forcing him to internally examine himself.

Harsh teenager’s eye

Frontalunterricht (2009) is Ulf Aminde’s presented film, more or less 40 minutes long, the video depicts a particular afternoon that the artist spent on a rehearsal space of a theater with a group of teenagers he was working with the last four weeks. Problematic like most teenagers, the work was very difficult, and no apparent connection was created.

Ulf Aminde - FrontalunterrichtUlf Aminde “Frontalunterricht”, Courtesy of Ulf Aminde

But on this particular afternoon standing behind the camera, he asked the young people to act as if they where him, and amazingly he discovered a lot about himself through them.

Clap, clap, clap!

A dark red curtain covers the entrance door creating the right light for the projection of a disturbing video of the writer Torquato Tasso during his mental illness, and, as a perfect start, surprising and unpredictable, it becomes a perfect ending. Moving aside the textile, I feel on stage myself, almost at the point of walking out, or maybe in again, of the scene. 

  • Galerie Kamm – Ulf Minde, Lukas Hoffmann, Nina Hoffmann, Iris Janke, Susanne M. Winterling – “Über Dich” January 28th – March 2th Tue-Sat: 11am – 6pm