Laurenz Berges

1966 born in Cloppenburg
  lives in Düsseldorf

1974-1977 University of Essen

"Berges became well known to a broader audience with his photographs of abandoned russian barracks, which he made between 1991 and 1995 after the Red Army had left the Eastern part of Germany. These works were shown in his first solo exhibition at the Goethe Institut in Rotterdam in 1996.

Since 1998 Berges devotes his attention to a landscape which belongs to his closer sourrounding. The subjects of the works from the recent years are the results of a close examination of the Rhenish brown coal area, a region near Cologne and Aachen. In this area whole communities had to be left and resettled because of the advancing open-cast mining.

The reduced subjects in Berges' sensitive photographs show traces of this hasty departure. The works are not titled in a common way, they simply bear the name of the place where they are made. The major part of the photographs shown in the exhibition is called Etzweiler, the name of a small village close to Aachen, which already no longer exists in the way it is documented by Berges.

Besides a close look onto the interiors left behind, Berges also pays attention to the exterior landscape which will disappear just as the communities do as soon as the excavators are getting closer. Berrendorfer Hau another series of photographs illustrates a view on the undergrowth of this region.Berges' look at the scenery shows things that appear to be inconspicuous, though by catching and focussing the details his poetic photographs tell a visual story of the given up communities."

from: http://www.ulrikeschmela.com/artists/berges-laurenz/021206/index.html

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