Exhibition Marc Beckmann: Anniversaries

Die Jahrestage © Marc Beckmann

Wed, 03/20/2019 -
Fri, 05/10/2019

Goethe-Institut Washington

1990 K St. NW (Entrance on 20th St., lower level)
Washington, DC 20006

On March 20 at 6:30pm, an artist talk and opening reception will be held in celebration of Die Jahrestage (Anniversaries), a new exhibition at the Goethe-Institut Washington. Anniversaries features the work of photographer Marc Beckmann, who will be present on the opening evening. Lena Jöhnk of the Goethe-Institut Washington and Axel Jansen of the German Historical Institute will speak with Beckmann about his body of work and the exhibition. The exhibition will also be the first engagement in Gestaltung der Erinnerung (The Shaping of Memory), an ongoing programming series that explores memory culture and relationships with the past through various forms of artistic expression.

Anniversaries is an exploration of how history is narrated, staged, and remembered collectively: the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Prague Spring, D-Day in Normandy, and the Srebrenica Massacre are just a few of the historical events whose anniversaries Marc Beckmann documents with his photographs. They offer the occasion for collective remembrance, sometimes admonishing and warning, sometimes patriotic. In commemoration ceremonies, nations, religious, or professional groups present themselves to the public and deal with their respective views of history.

In addition to national boundaries, Beckmann overcomes his work temporally. Some events, such as the Arab Spring in Egypt, date back only a few years, while other events are so far in the past that there are no longer any living eyewitnesses.

The memorial days that Marc Beckmann leads us through with his camera often have a major media effect. Official media reports focus on big statesmen or –women, or the mass of those present. Beckmann, on the other hand, takes a closer look at the margins of these major events in his photographs. He finds quiet moments in which individuals pause and detach themselves from the collective event.

Marc Beckmann was born in 1978 in Peru and grew up in Germany. He lives and works in Berlin. He completed his studies in photography at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in 2006 with Professor Roman Bezjak. He works as a freelance photographer for magazines such as Stern, Geo, Du, Brigitte and Neon, as well as for foundations and organizations like the Körber Foundation and the BMW Foundation.

His pictures have been shown at a diverse range of exhibitions and festivals. For the project Anniversaries he was recognized with the C/O Talents Award.

Please RSVP for the March 20 opening evening.