Ivonne Thein in TALENTS 2008
From 25 April to 6 June 2009, Deutsche Börse presents at Neue Börse a special exhibition of the winners of the internationally announced “C/O Talents” 2008, a competiton for young photographers. As a founding partner, Deutsche Börse Group has been supporting the “Talents” competition initiated by C/O Berlin Patrons e.V. and has also been on the jury electing the winners out of all the applications. Since 2007, this international photography competition has been announced publicly. More than 180 young photographers applied for the program in 2008. Each year, four artists are invited to exhibit their work with regard to a common theme and to publish in a specially worked out exhibition catalogue. In 2008, the “Talents” exhibition’s motto is “Portraits. People in Photographs”. The extensive work series presented in the exhibition show the artists’ perspectives on human beings as physical individuals as well as social beings.

After having been shown at C/O Berlin and at the Goethe-Institut New York, the works of the four winning “talents” will be also presented at Neue Börse in Frankfurt-Hausen. The exhibition and the accompanying catalogues give a public platform to the young photographers and invite the visitors to discuss their exhibits.

The Talents of 2008 are: Pepa Hristova (*1977), Sebastian Stumpf (*1980), Ivonne Thein (*1979), Janina Wick (*1976)

In her series “Strangers in their Own Country” Pepa Hristova uses her poetic photography to portray the Muslim community of her home country Bulgaria. This national minority is living segregated and sealed off from the outside world through their traditional pace of life. Hristova’s staged portraits and spontaneous photographs of religious festivities such as weddings and circumcisions seek to give a voice to a national minority living on the edge of society within a country of the European Union. In her photo reportage, Hristova documents the feelings, desires and fears of the Bulgarian Muslims portrayed and thereby brings to light the identity and uprootedness, dignity and values of this community. In her quest for defining European values, the photographer is exploring the question of integration and is seeking for an answer within her observations of the everyday life of the people concerned.

What is that person doing climbing urban street trees? Why is he pretending to walk standing on his head in the middle of a street, and why is he dive-rolling under automatic garage doors just as they are about to close? With these kinds of staged situations, entirely disconnected from everyday life, the series “Leaving Again” by Sebastian Stumpf counteracts the commonness of everyday actions, conditioned spatial experience, and established visual conventions. Snapshots of reality and structures of urban “nature” are the starting point for Sebastian Stumpf’s self-stagings. Within this context, his projections inspire a spontaneous recreation in answer to a particular spatial situation. The images always resonate with the humor based on physical comedy and poetry of the early silent films. The works create a field of tension that results from the interaction between body and space, rest and motion, authenticity and staging.

The works by Sebastian Stumpf will be shown as part of the Deutsche Börse Residency Program from 25 April to 31 Mai 2009 at the Frankfurter Kunstverein.

The fragile lightness of the models portrayed in the series “Thirty-two Kilos” by Ivonne Thein seems disturbing and disquieting. Showing women on all fours, facing upward, or lunging forward with their torso twisted around, some of these images look more like displays of painful contortion than presentations of bodies and fashion. The models’ limbs appear unnaturally long and thin – in some poses dangerously fragile. The female models wear corsets as well as medical bandages that stretch across breast and neck in a way that must make it hard to breathe at all. But what are these photograpghs actually meaning to advertise for? The artist deals with the pathological striving of girls and women to be extremely thin. The background to this work is the widespread Internet movement “Pro Ana” which elevates anorexia nervosa to the status of a new, positive lifestyle for young women. In Thein’s series, she simultaneously questions which role photography plays in conjunction with it.

In her series “Thirteen”, Janina Wick portrays girls who are physically almost adults but not yet mentally secure, and still in search of their own identity. The photographs reveal a fascinating paradox: We can read something in their faces and bodies that they themselves do not know yet, but that they embody already. Using a reduced visual language and employing backgrounds of great simplicity and clear composition, the viewer is made to focus entirely on the person portrayed. This enables us to recognize ourselves in the girls we see – in their postures and clothing which is fairly a costume sometimes. Their seductive, distant, or bored body language reminds us of our own youth, when euphoria and insecurity went hand in hand. Wick’s images are a balancing act between documentary and staged photography. They oscillate between an authentic moment and a staged situation where the young girls are the choreographers of their own self-portrayal.

The exhibition can be visited in Neue Börse in Frankfurt-Hausen during the “Night of the Museums” on 25 April 2009 and during guided tours.

Please register for guided tours via e-mail to art@deutsche-boerse.com.
Event note

25 April 2009 - 06 June 2009

Neue Börse
Frankfurt am Main

Phone: +49-(0) 69-2 11-1 32 83
Fax: +49-(0) 69-2 11-1 80 20
E-mail: art@deutsche-boerse.com

Organizer: Deutsche Börse AG

Registration is required for this event

Target Group: Customers and employees of Deutsche Börse Group
* Haus der Photographie/Sammlung F.C. Gundlach, Hamburg