»Es ist die Seele ein Fremdes auf Erden«
It is the soul a stranger on earth
Anyone who expects photos that follow a strict concept will not find what they are looking for in Sibylle Hoffmann’s new exhibition. “I’m looking for images that arise in very different contexts, in different places, at different times, that suddenly come together to form an idea to express my thoughts and feelings”, says the photographer.
Her photos are about recurrent themes such as plants, flowers, landscapes – “and the light just before it disappears,” as she says. In other words, there is something to discover here, which is not simply portrayed in reality, but the observers’ and viewers’ own experiences emerge when they stand in front of the images: vague memories, dream images, associations. When the visible becomes blurred, the supposedly invisible behind the pictures becomes more important.
“It is the soul a stranger on earth” is a quote from the poem “Spring of the Soul” by Georg Trakl, written between 1912 and 1914. Trakl’s poem line was the starting point for the work shown here. The life of the Austrian poet, who only reached the age of 27 years, was shaped by the search for the nature and purpose of life. His poems are of a sonic beauty – despite the melancholy that resonates in them.
“The soul,” says Sibylle Hoffmann,
“seems like a long-gone breeze.” What Trakl wanted to capture in words, the photographer tries with photographs: a contemplative approach to the poet Georg Trakl.
“…Darker the waters flow around the beautiful games of the fish. / Hour of mourning, Silent sight of the sun; / It is the soul a stranger on earth…”.
Text: Martin Krauss
Sibylle Hoffmann began her photographic training in the 1980s at the »Werkstatt für Photographie« in Berlin-Kreuzberg, when that workshop was a groundbreaking institution in Germany. At that time photography was not yet recognized as a serious artistic medium in Germany, unlike, for example, in the USA. The workshop therefore brought such renowned American photographers as Robert Frank, Larry Clark and Ralph Gibson to Germany for the first time, thus creating a different perception of photographic work. Today, photography is recognized as an independent artistic medium worldwide.
Sibylle Hoffmann lives and works as a freelance artist in Berlin. She teaches since 1986 as a lecturer for photography at the Photocentrum of the Gilberto Bosques VHS in Berlin Kreuzberg. Focus of her teaching are project courses with accompanying exhibitions or book presentations.
Friday, Jan 31, 2020, 7 pm
Artist Talk with Sibylle Hoffmann (held in German)
Thursday, Feb 6, 2020, 8 pm
inselkonzert: Trio MUT – Rohrer Vorfeld Wassermann