Damien Daufresne / Manfred Hamm
November 26, 2022 - January 14, 2023
Opening November 25, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Corneliusstraße 3, 10787 Berlin, Germany
Thu - Fri 12 - 7 pm, Sat 12 - 6 pm and by appointment.
In the show "still. there" Galerie Georg Nothelfer is pleased to present for the first time two artists who approach the subject of time and space in different ways using the means of photography. While Manfred Hamm (*1944 in Zwickau) traces the state of the past in his photographs, Damien Daufresne (*1979 in Paris) captures the ephemeral nature of the moment through photography, drawing and film.
Everything lies in the art of disappearance. However, this disappearance must also leave traces, it must be the place of the appearance of the Other, the world, the object.
Jean Baudrillard, 1994
With the invention of photography, a new temporality enters the image and its perception.
What we see in a photograph was really there and has passed away. This distinguishes photographic images from synthetic images, like those of painting.
The peculiarity of the photographic image, being a physical imprint of the depicted in a real moment, was already recognized by William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the inventors of photography. "It has been so," Roland Barthes states, looking at a photograph and shivering, like Siegfried Kracauer half a century earlier, at its ghostly impression. As the visible referential evidence of a moment, photography insists on truth and actuality. At the same time, it reminds us of the evanescence of what it depicts, and its images bear witness to traces that lead back into the past.
In Manfred Hamm's photographs, the state of vanishing is found in the image motif itself. The places that the photographer, who was born in Zwickau in 1944, has been visiting throughout Europe for several decades are often abandoned, forgotten places whose dwindling significance he captures and archives in his photographs and publications. Cultural buildings, train stations, or old industrial plants, which Hamm calls "ancient sites of tomorrow," are depicted soberly, often in central perspective, in diffuse light, and always without people. This places Hamm in the tradition of the Mission Héliographique, through which historical architecture and monuments were first documented photographically on a broad scale in France in 1852. In Hamm's photographs, buildings appear as manifestations of the ephemeral. In the black-and-white photographs in particular, the objects are wrapped in the nocturnal cloak of yesterday.
Black and white is also the imagery of Damien Daufresne. Dust particles lying on the camera lenses appear with other random interferences' from the technical-chemical manufacturing process as a visual 'patina' in the grainy, dark photographs. Fleeting moments are captured in them, like a bird's flight, a glimmer of light over a cloud-covered sea, a cloth in the wind, and also in the silent, music-scored film images: again and again this one girl - running across the meadow, catching grasshoppers, diving into the water. We know the images - from our mothers, daughters, from ourselves. We recognize them because the artist, born in Paris in 1979, manages to present them to us as memory images, which makes us wistful. But we know and recognize something else - something that comforts. The film collage of Un arbre. Un animal. Quelqu'un. consists of slightly displaced repetitions and rhythms, such as blowing hair, whose shots are slowed to a standstill and cross-faded - and then recall Daufresne's charcoal crayon drawings, which - like palimpsests - have multiple superimposed layers and scrapings. The film allows archetypal images to emerge that point to an eternal return. Impermanence in its absoluteness seems to be suspended in this moment. (Dr. Cora Waschke)