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Double Dialogues: Ute Behrend I Ute Mahler – Käthe Buchler I Julia Margaret Cameron

In her artistic work with the medium of photography and film, Ute Behrend (born 1961) displays, both atmospherically and aesthetically, a subtle sense for poetic and formal contexts in exploring her own narrative worlds as autonomous visual worlds and individual commentaries on social and socio-cultural contexts. Following a visual concept in which usually two images from different contexts, real or staged, are narratively and formally assigned to each other, the images create references to themes relating to the identity of children and adolescents, questioning role models and repeatedly also our relationship to nature.

Cover Photo: Ute Mahler, Zirkus Hein, 1973-74 © Ute Mahler

An important component of Ute Behrend’s work is always the photo book. In 2019, she received the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for her book on the work group Bärenmädchen. The exhibition at the Braunschweig Museum of Photography will showcase images from the work groups Bärenmädchen, Märchen, Cowboys and Back to Nature, among others.

In dialogue with Ute Behrend’s work, the exhibition will feature a work by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) and works by Käthe Buchler (1876-1930) from the museum’s historical collection. Poetic stagings are also aspects of the photographic work by these artists. Fairy tales as children’s theatre plays, for example, were among the visual subjects that Käthe Buchler also captured and commented on in a special album from the early 20th century. The original book with vintage photographs was donated to the Braunschweig Museum of Photography in 2019 to supplement the collection and estate of Käthe Buchler. The book and photographs by Käthe Buchler will be presented in the exhibition.

Käthe Buchler, Walther Buchler and friend playing Cowboy and Indian, c. 1911
© Museum für Photographie Braunschweig

Furthermore, in the context of the exhibition theme, Zirkus Hein, an early group of works by the well-known photographer Ute Mahler (born 1949) featuring one of the family-owned circuses of the former GDR, will also be on display. Capturing special visual moments from everyday life in the circus, the series was created in 1973-74 and represents Ute Mahler’s first comprehensive artistic group of works. For the first time in about forty years, Ute Mahler has re-visited this group of works for the exhibition and, on the basis of the original photographic material, has also made new prints of previously unseen photos, as well as variations of specific motifs. Both colour and b/w photographs from the series will be on display.

Ute Mahler is one of the most significant contemporary photographers and has developed her work from the last few decades also in the former GDR. Many groups of works were also created in collaboration with her husband Werner Mahler. Together with him and several other photographers from the former GDR, following reunification in the early 1990s, she founded the Ostkreuz Agency and the Ostkreuz School of Photography.

Special editions of Ute Behrend’s work group Back to Nature and Ute Mahler’s work group Zirkus Hein will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.

Julia Margaret Cameron, Young woman with pineapple, c. 1867
© Museum für Photographie Braunschweig

Double Dialogues

Ute Behrend I Ute Mahler – Käthe Buchler I Julia Margaret Cameron
Kuratorin: Barbara Hofmann-Johnson

until 22.08.2021

Museum für Photographie Braunschweig

Helmstedter Straße 1 · D-38102 Braunschweig

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