Regional Photo Projects Not without my camera

Joachim Schumacher from the series  „Stadt- und Industrielandschaft im Ruhrgebiet“ (1973-1987)
Joachim Schumacher from the series „Stadt- und Industrielandschaft im Ruhrgebiet“ (1973-1987) | © Joachim Schumacher

With their digital collections two photographic projects have opened new opportunities for networking. By broaching a photographic discussion of their locales, they preserve and deepen the memory of their regions and create a space-time continuum that extends far beyond the local context.
 

Pixelprojekt_Ruhrgebiet (i.e. Pixel Project – Ruhr Region) is the name of an independent digital platform for the serial photography of the independent photographic scene in the Ruhr. The project, launched in 2003, brings together a wide range of photographs, extending from traditional photojournalism to artful abstract pictures. A jury that meets annually chooses the photos on the basis of quality and regional relevance. All the photographs presented here are the work of German and international photographers who are active in the Ruhr region or who worked there for a long time.
 
The Ruhr region, also called the “Pot” or “Revier” (i.e. the “Area”), lies between the Rhine tributaries of the Lippe and the Ruhr and was once the leading force of the German mining industry. That was a long time ago. The region is in transition, and of the approximately 100 mines only a single one is still in operation. This economic, social and cultural change deep in the western part of the German republic is documented by Pixel Project_Ruhrgebiet. Its digital image memory opens the view on the region and contemplates it within its European dimension. Themes such as architecture, art, work and production, but also picture series about the lives of people, about nature and ecology or sports, are stored on the internet platform. Here you can find photos of politicians appearing at the Dortmund Westfalenhalle by Horst Lang and pictures entitled Als der Pott noch kochte (i.e. When the Pot Was Still Boiling) and Revierlandschaften (i.e. Revier Landscapes) by Heinrich Voss.

  • Rennfahrer  | Horst Lang from the series „Als der Pott noch kochte“ (1950-1970) © Horst Lang
    Horst Lang from the series „Als der Pott noch kochte“ (1950-1970)
  • Heinrich Voss from the series „Revierlandschaften“ (1975-1988) © Heinrich Voß
    Heinrich Voss from the series „Revierlandschaften“ (1975-1988)
  • Bernd Arnold from the series „Alter Markt 1985 - Wahlkampfrituale“ © Bernd Arnold
    Bernd Arnold from the series „Alter Markt 1985 - Wahlkampfrituale“
  • Tania Reinicke from the series „Bild des Raums“ | 2009 © Tania Reinicke
    Tania Reinicke from the series „Bild des Raums“ | 2009
  • Tania Reinicke und Ekkehart Bussenius from the series „Heimatgeschichten“ © Tania Reinicke und Ekkehart Bussenius
    Tania Reinicke and Ekkehart Bussenius from the series „Heimatgeschichten“
  • Joachim Schumacher from the series  „Stadt- und Industrielandschaft im Ruhrgebiet“ (1973-1987) © Joachim Schumacher
    Joachim Schumacher from the series „Stadt- und Industrielandschaft im Ruhrgebiet“ (1973-1987)
  • JJoachim Schumacher from the series „Reviermilljöh“ (2003-2008) © Joachim Schumacher
    Joachim Schumacher from the series „Reviermilljöh“ (2003-2008)
  • Fatih Kurceren from the series „Türken“ (2008-2011) © Fatih Kurceren
    Fatih Kurceren from the series „Türken“ (2008-2011)
  • Fatih Kurceren from the series „Opferfest in Duisburg-Meiderich“ (2008) © Fatih Kurceren
    Fatih Kurceren from the series „Opferfest in Duisburg-Meiderich“ (2008)

 

Up close, refreshing and direct

 The focus of the project, however, is on current photographic series that give everyday observations a metaphorical dimension, such as Tania Reinicke’s with Bild des Raums (i.e. Image of Space) and the series Heimatsgeschichten (i.e. Local Histories) or Joachim Schumacher’s with its documentation of the legacies of industrial and urban landscapes. With his series Turks, Fatih Kurceren builds bridges not only to the past but also to the portraits of August Sander. His photographs of Turkish immigrants living in Germany – the worker, the boxer, the kiosk woman – uncover the characters of the persons and trace the picture behind the picture. Up close, refreshingly honest and direct, these series of photos show life and survival in the Ruhr region, now staged as forays, now as found pieces of reality. They are pictures that seek not the spectacular but rather formulate the region and its rhythms as a poetic documentation of daily life. All the series are provided with informative and journalistically edited texts and short biographies of the photographers. Pixel Project_Ruhrgebiet is knowledgeable work, fostering photography in the Ruhr area and establishing, moreover, a photographic network of photographers and users.

Regional memory 

The Museum for Photography in Brunswick is pursuing a similar strategy. In a two-part exhibition and on a digital platform, it presents its ambitious project Das regionale Gedächtnis (i.e. The Regional Memory), which searches after the meaning of photography in the Brunswick region. The selected individual current photographic positions see themselves as a photographic dialogue on the cultural heritage of the area. The search for traces of historical-cultural events plays thereby a central role.

Cultural heritage of the region 

The region of Brunswick is a former border area to the East German zone and so closely bound up with German-German history. Mattierzoll by the Wolfenbüttel photographer Yvonne Salzmann is devoted to the interior German border that existed until 1989, the so-called “Wall”. The Brunswick photographer Birte Hennig turns her view to the Wolfsburg municipal theatre built by Hans Scharoun. She shows the building in its furnished state shortly before its renovation. Her series comes to grips with the pictures of the German photographer Candida Höfer, who photographed the building in 1998.
 

  • Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ um 1915 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ um 1915
  • Hans Steffens, Motorcyclist on piles of rubble, 1955 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Hans Steffens, Motorcyclist on piles of rubble, 1955
  • Hans Steffens, New Station , after 1960 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Hans Steffens, New Station , after 1960
  • Hans Steffens, Cyclists around 1960 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Hans Steffens, Cyclists around 1960
  • Käthe Buchler | Autochrome 1913 bis 1930 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Käthe Buchler | Autochrome 1913 bis 1930
  • Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ around 1915 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ around 1915
  • Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ around 1915 © Photomuseum Braunschweig
  • Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ (1914-1917) © Photomuseum Braunschweig
    Käthe Buchler from the series „Heimatfront“ (1914-1917)
  • Birte Henning from the series„Theater Wolfsburg“ 2013 © Birte Henning
    Birte Henning from the series „Theater Wolfsburg“ 2013
  • Birte Henning from the series  „Theater Wolfsburg“ 2013 © Birte Henning
    Birte Henning from the series „Theater Wolfsburg“ 2013
  • Birte Henning from the series „Theater Wolfsburg“ 2013 © Birte Henning
    Birte Henning from the series „Theater Wolfsburg“ 2013
  • Yvonne Salzmann from the series Mattierzoll | 2014/2015 © Yvonne Salzmann
    Yvonne Salzmann from the series Mattierzoll | 2014/2015
  • Yvonne Salzmann from the series Mattierzoll | 2014/2015 © Yvonne Salzmann
  • Yvonne Salzmann from the series Mattierzoll | 2014/2015 © Yvonne Salzmann
    Yvonne Salzmann from the series Mattierzoll | 2014/2015



Parallel to both these exhibitions, which were on display in the gatehouses of the museum from 2015 to 2016, a project-accompanying website deepens the photographic dialogue on the cultural heritage of the region with explanatory texts and biographies of the photographers. The digital archive has been expanded by the inclusion of works from the museum’s collection by other important photographers of the region such as Heinrich Heidersberger, Heinrich Riebesehl, Christa Zeißig, Käthe Buchler, Ommo Wille, Hans Steffens, Jutta Brüdern and many more.
 
In this compilation the arrested gaze frees itself from the momentary and becomes, in the fusion of past and present, a great world memory, a space-time continuum extending far beyond a single region.