Herlinde Koelbl

Herlinde Koelbl Herlinde Koelbl

Herlinde Koelbl is one of the major political photographers in Germany. Her photos addressing burning issues of the time have made her known worldwide. Koelbl combines a journalistic documentary approach with high artistic standards in a way uniquely her own.


The project "Targets" is a particularly impressive example of this: for years Herlinde Koelbl travelled around the world, and in a total of thirty countries made photographs of the military targets used in the training of soldiers. "Targets" raises questions such as: How is the enemy, who is later to be killed, portrayed? As an abstract figure or with a face? Do the targets exhibit cultural differences? Have the images representing the enemy changed? Furthermore, in the reality of war, the soldiers themselves are always ultimately the target. Therefore the series also includes portraits of the soldiers - the living targets.

Traces of Power

At the Goethe-Institut in Sydney she will present her photo series “Spuren der Macht” ("Traces of Power"). For this large-scale project, Koelbl portrayed Angela Merkel over a long period of time: since 1991, with an interval between 1999 and 2006, Koelbl has met the now-chancellor once every year, taken a portrait and interviewed her, often asking the exact same questions as the year before.