Erwin Olaf, Shanghai: Hangpu - The Journey (2017), archival print, 60,5 x 80,4 cm. Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
BERLIN.- Wagner + Partner announced the opening of its new premises with the launch of the thematic exhibition, Die Dauer des Moments (The Moment’s Duration). As a crack in time, the “moment”, possesses unique qualities - it is exciting, unbearable, poetic, unpredictable … and? it can also be instantaneously brief.
Since its inception, photography has harnessed not only light but also the technical skills to capture one moment in time. Consequently, the exhibition looks to the 20th-century photographers André Kertész and Berenice Abbott, who address this fact in an exemplary manner with the bygone scenes they once captured from everyday life. These are complemented by the work of the renowned photographer Erwin Olaf, whose series Waiting addresses the insufferableness of waiting. Olaf also addresses the tremendous upheaval in Chinese society in his current series, Shanghai, which is exhibited for the first time in Germany.
Erwin Olaf, Waiting: Shenzhen II (2014), silver gelatine print, 47,5 x 26 cm, Ed. 7 + 2 AP. Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
Erwin Olaf, Waiting: Nairobi II (2014), silver gelatine print, 47,5 x 26 cm, Ed. 7 + 2 AP. Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
Magic Feelings (1997) is an unusual series of black and white portraits by the German photographic artist Thomas Wrede, which catch the enraptured, almost indefinable facial expressions of people in the breathtaking moment of the steep descent of a rollercoaster ride.
Thomas Wrede, Magic Feelings Nr. 21 (1997), silver gelatine print, 11,5 x 8,5 cm (framed: 43 x 35 cm). Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
Thomas Wrede, Magic Feelings Nr. 18 (1997), silver gelatine print, 11,5 x 8,5 cm (framed: 43 x 35 cm). Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
Thomas Wrede, Magic Feelings Nr. 00 (1997), silver gelatine print, 11,5 x 8,5 cm (framed: 43 x 35 cm). Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
The photographs in this exhibition celebrate the instantaneous and are juxtaposed by the quietly poetic works of Bertram Hasenauer and Sophia Pompéry. Hasenauer’s portrait paintings hint at the fleeting nature of an encounter, the maybe of a liaison. Sophia Pompéry’s installation, Der Schnee von gestern (Yesterday’s Snow) explores the impossible act of capturing the moment by exhibiting snow from 2006, and in doing so, the work becomes an imaginative play on this parable. Pompéry has a humorous knack of presenting unusual and banal connections in perceptible ways and these surprises are a common element of her practice.
Bertram Hasenauer, Untitled (2018), oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm. Photo: Courtesy Wagner + Partner.
These works can be read as social commentary on our exceedingly digitised and efficient times, which leave less room for the useless, boring or unpredictable. The exhibition marks the beginning of a series of thematic group exhibitions, which will become a focus for Wagner + Partner in the new Mitte location.