“CONTINENT – In Search of Europe” shows photographs by the 22 members of the Berlin-based agency OSTKREUZ examining the European living space and its people. The groups of work were specially created for the exhibition over the past eight years. They explore the question of how the European continent and its population’s coexistence may be shaped and evolve in the future. Personal, social, and political aspects of togetherness are taken into account from a perspective that is critical while remaining empathetic. The images transport their viewers to various regions of the continent – be it the South of France, the Norwegian forests, the banking district of London, industrial areas of Sicily, the German-Polish border, or the rivers of Europe.
While many of the works focus on entire towns or religious communities, some photographers also portray the fate of individuals. The diverse realities of life in Europe are reflected in the thematic range of the presented works. They deal with the pressing issues of our time: Questions of identity, security, migration, and integration as well as humanism, democracy, and freedom of opinion. Time and again, the artists’ gaze circles back to the past and European history – often under the influence of personal experience and family memories, which serve as a starting point for their photographic research.
The focus of all photographic positions is on images of people and their surroundings. The presentation thereby not only provides the visual impetus for the current debate on Europe’s past and future but can also be understood as a declaration of love for the continent. The exhibition is a collaboration of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation with the OSTKREUZ agency, the Akademie der Künste and the curator Ingo Taubhorn.
OSTKREUZ was founded by seven renowned photographers from the former GDR in 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and has been run by its members ever since. Over the course of the agency’s history, which spans more than 30 years, its photographers have regularly taken a stand on contemporary social and political issues around the world in independent projects.
The works exhibited are by photographers Jörg Brüggemann, Espen Eichhöfer, Sibylle Fendt, Johanna-Maria Fritz, Annette Hauschild, Harald Hauswald, Heinrich Holtgreve, Tobias Kruse, Ute Mahler, Werner Mahler, Dawin Meckel, Thomas Meyer, Frank Schinski, Jordis Antonia Schlösser, Ina Schoenenburg, Anne Schönharting, Linn Schröder, Stephanie Steinkopf, Mila Teshaieva, Heinrich Voelkel, Maurice Weiss, Sebastian Wells.
CONTINENT: In Search of Europe
11 February to 12 June 2022
Deutsche Börse AG, Frankfurt – Germany
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