„NICHT RENNEN“ is a current and ongoing photo project documenting the swimming pools of Berlin. Berlin‘s pool landscape is characterized by diversity and variety like no other in Europe. The aesthetics of the baths range from historic, listed baths to functional indoor swimming pools and competitive sports facilities for European
and World Swimming Championships. There are
a total of 62 swimming pools throughout Berlin and, intended as a long-term project, the plan
is to capture all of them photographically.
As a swimmer, one experiences various interesting situations in the pools, and especially the signs hanging everywhere with „photography prohibited“ were an incentive for photographer Pia Henkel to do specifically that. Currently, eleven baths have been photographed and the focus is on empty, quiet images with a view of the architecture, but also the details and unexcited corners to create an overall picture of each individual bath.
As the work has progressed, it has become clear that the emotional mood of the places is important. History and general developments also play a major role - the oldest bath in Berlin, for example, is the Stadtbad Charlottenburg from 1896/98. Each place has its own history, which is underlined by the long division of the city. The place in itself is a parallel world to escape from everyday life for a short period of time – whatever the reason. This tranquility and contrast should be highlighted in the work.
If you ask a scout what is special about being a scout, you often get the answer: „It‘s hard to describe, a feeling that probably only scouts fully understand.“ Stephan Lucka knew
this feeling, because he himself was a scout in
And he wanted to approach this indescribable photographically. To do this, he returned to the Boy Scouts and once again immersed himself in this familiar world from the days of his youth – this time with his camera. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are the largest youth movement in the world, there are approximately 46 million scouts world-wide, 260,000 in Germany. The scouts form their own socio-cultural microcosm, a microcosm that always reflects a larger social context. What makes scouts for young humans still attractive today? How does this concept persist in our accelerated, consumerist, and high-tech world?
The pictures try to give a visual answer to the question that is so difficult to answer for most scouts. They tell a story about growing up, about friendship and intimacy, but also about respect and consideration. About how we want to treat each other, how we can live together.
In January 2020 I meet the 17-year-old Jaydon in Hamburg. He is a passionate singer, writes his own lyrics, takes part in casting shows, and hopes to become a famous musician one day. Since he had to move to another district on the outskirts of Hamburg with his two mothers and siblings, he is hardly at home anymore. Most of the time he hangs out with his friends in Eimsbüttel, his old neighborhood, where he grew up and wants to stay forever.
Jaydon is spontaneous, energetic and constantly needs people around him. In his circle of friends, he forms the connection, that holds everyone together. Besides that, he has always changing affairs with girls. Over several months I accompany him and get to know his friends. Thereby I learn about Jaydon‘s different character traits. n the group he stages himself, dances, sings, and becomes the center of the happening. But in our conversations in twos, he is often emotional and thoughtful, reveals his fears and hopes. A few years ago, Jaydon suffered from depression and a strong fear of loss.
A therapy and the support of his friends helped him get back on his feet. About one year after we met, he suddenly drops out of school and moves out of his parents‘ house. My essay on Jaydon is a personal story about coming of age and an investigation on self-expression and identity development during teenage years.
We have now been living with the Corona pandemic for two years. For some who recovered from Covid-19, symptoms remain that severely impact their quality of life. Approximately 10-20% of those infected with Covid-19 suffer from long-term consequences for more than a year: chronic fatigue, forgetfulness, pain, loss of smell, and a constant feeling of illness, to name a few. What experts know today: Long Covid is a multi-organ disease. But the possibility of a precise diagnosis or a promising therapy is missing.
This is a project about people who suffer from long-term consequences of their infection since the first wave of the pandemic.
The starting point of the work „O meu coração é seu“ is a beer coaster that was inscribed by my father to try out German and Brazilian spellings of my name. For my photographic project, I meet people who, like me, have a German and a Brazilian parent. My exploration of the topic opens up a multi-layered web of questions, stories and ambiguous associations – on a content level as well as on a visual level.
How can I talk about identity and evoke associations without reproducing clichés?
Do common experiences exist at all and how can I represent them visually? With Pedro, Clara, Franziska, Marilena, and Simon I talk about our names and birthplaces, air travel and (mother)languages, double belonging and not belonging, exoticization of bodies and romanticization of objects, pop culture, and politics, the search for a community and the demarcation from a given identity. An important theme here is the perception of our bodies in different places: How do our privileges shift in that particular country? The perception of these power structures is accompanied by questions of identity that are emotional and personal and often create a complicated and ambivalent relationship to one‘s own self-perception.
SILENCE. The Olympic fire is important, it is one of the most significant symbols. The fire stands for the Olympic spirit and international understanding.
In 1964, the Olympic Games were opened in Tokyo; today they are seen as the turning point of post-war reconstruction for Japanese history and society. The world‘s view of the country was special. 57 years later, themes such as rebirth and resilience are once again the focus of the internal and external gaze on Japan. The years 2020/21 of the XXXII Olympiad symbolize for Japan and the mega-metropolis Tokyo the resilience of a world society in the midst of a global pandemic.
Images, texts, audio documents, a book, and a digital app as an extension of the analog exhibition space are important components of this transmedial narration with an unusual view of emotions as well as lonely and banal moments of these Olympic Games in 2021 in Tokyo – which were different.
THE FLAME. MUTED.
The work „Banoo“ is about Iranian women
and their position in contemporary Iranian society. Their rise in science and the working world leaves
an impression in a male-dominated society – so women have now gained respect outside their own four walls. To achieve a little insight into the situation of women in Iran today and how they see themselves, in this photo series, I accompanied women from different social classes and places in Iran in their everyday lives and got to know them better.
They told their stories of how they were perceived as women in a male-dominated society and the obstacles they faced in their daily life. These and many other women in Iran are making an essential contribution to Iranian society, paving the way for future generations and shaping their country’s future.
Banoo is a respectable epithet for women and means lady.
The work „Tell me I‘m manly, tell me I‘m pretty“ shows images of the male body, questioning the stereotypical and not very mobile representation of the male body in contemporary popular photography, social media, and advertising.
Taking bodybuilding photography of the 1950s and 1960s as a starting point, the work raises the question of which body is perceived as beautiful and why this beauty only exists in distinction from or reference to a very rigid ideal that is increasingly becoming a visual normative.
The female sexual organ has many names: vagina, pussy, cunt, etc. Actually called the vulva, it refers to the totality of the external primary sexual organs and consists of the mons pubis,
the labia, and the clitoris.
In her ongoing study „Rabbit Hole – you made a fool out of me and took the skin off my back running“, Sarah Ruholl deals with physical perception – especially that of the female sex. By transforming material objects into immaterial ones in the interior and exterior space, she blends the boundaries of reality into one another. Thus confronting the question of the transcendency of objectivity.
This work is composed of works installed in the public space, as well as their three-dimensional visualization using augmented reality of analog sculptures.
My work „SEIN – A contemporary interpretation of the Venus figurines“ is inspired by the up to 40.000 years old female figurines, which are the oldest representation of the human body. There are many theories about the purpose of
the female figurines. This opens the door for my own interpretation.
Detached from the stereotypical understanding of a woman‘s physical appearance, I’ve experimented with the pure form of the female body. Through abstractions and reflections, the body becomes a constantly transforming sculpture. The juxtapositions of images support the idea of diversity. The focus lies on the aesthetics of female forms and textures: femininity is in dialogue with the elements earth, water, and air, without which no life would be possible.