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Edgar Leciejewski’s bildarchive
The Photographer as Author and Collaborator

Hall 12 Old Cotton Mill Leipzig
Hall 12 old cotton mill Leipzig photo Vera Belka cc

Leipzig photographer Edgar Leciejewski’s wide range, formal and thematic eclecticism and playfulness are reflected in his panoptic life and career path, and in his “bildarchive: dine & dash,” the art book we are looking at in this essay series.

By Jutta Brendemuhl

Edgar Leciejewski’s career and work express the intersectionality of photography and book, image and word, solo and collaborative work, thought and (re-)presentation. The artist, who lives and works in Leipzig, was born in East Berlin in 1977; his family left for West Germany in 1986. Starting out as a bookseller and librarian, he studied theatre, philosophy, and art history at Freie Universität Berlin before enrolling at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig HGB to study fine art photography under Timm Rautert and Christopher Muller. Leciejewski finished with a thesis on Turner Prize-winning photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. The HGB, founded in 1764, is home to two important modern art movements, the so-called Leipzig School of the 1970s and ‘80s and the post-reunification New Leipzig School that includes the likes of painter Neo Rauch. Photographer Ricarda Roggan, whose photos are on view at the Goethe Media Space Toronto in 2020, is also an alumna of the renowned Academy.

Pola Portrait Edgar Leciejewski 2008 Pola Self-Portrait 2008 © E. Leciejewski Leciejewski’s first exhibition took place at Spinnerei
Leipzig, his homebase to date. The artist has shown in windows in Hamburg’s St. Pauli red-light district, in castles and bunkers, at Berlinische Galerie and LX Art New York City, FotoFest Houston and Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, Contact Photography Festival and the Goethe Media Space Toronto.

2020 is a big exhibition year for the photographer, not unhindered by the pandemic: A new solo show going up in Fürth, Bavaria; his series "A Circle Full of Ecstasy" goes to Vienna and Krakow (the latter postponed), after stops at the Forum for Photography in Cologne and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. His work “The Home of Easy Credit” was featured in a two-person exhibition at a gallery in Leipzig’s sister city of Houston, TX. His ongoing artistic exchange with Houston-based artist Amy Blakemore there has proven fruitful, with major joint shows on both sides of the Atlantic. In September 2020, Leciejewski would have been showing studio still lifes at Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, now postponed by a year. 

Leciejewski has published and appeared in dozens of art books, like “Tones,” edited by Alexandra MacIntosh and Nicolaus Schafhausen at Fogo Island Art. He has quoted Marylin Monroe in the artist edition Voluptuous; pondered Making is thinking with Zoë Gray at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, and has been included in Christoph Tannert’s survey Leipzig. Photography Since 1839. He has authored the object of our attention—the Polaroid book dine & dash, designed by Kay Bachmann.
Edgar Leciejewski bildarchive 9 inside cover “E. Leciejewski bildarchive” 9 photo J. Brendemuhl Who is Kay Bachmann and what was his role in co-creating this book? “Kay and I studied together, so I have known him for a long time and we often collaborate on my book projects. I conceptualized this booklet and Kay realised the graphic design and print aspects. I completely trust his eye and his high quality standards. He has been designing the entire bildarchive series from the start, so there’s a nice connectivity there.”
In our next instalment, we will open this bildarchive and its windows again and look at the imbued world of Polaroids.