John Gossage | Berlin in the Time of the Wall - the Proofs
John Gossage | Berlin in the Time of the Wall - the Proofs

30.09.05 - 09.11.05
John Gossage | Berlin in the Time of the Wall - the Proofs

"Berlin truly politicised Gossage's work. After his first visit to the city, be began to photograph with the darker eye of a forensic archaeologist.

Throughout the 1980s Berlin became Gossage's overriding focus. Berlin, with its Wall, forgotten tracts of land, unwanted histories - both forgotten and remembered - became the place where Gossage discovered the ideas that have come to mark his personalized style of photograhic storytelling. The art from this period is arguable his most important and has unquestionable influenced all his subsequent work."

(Gerry Badger)

John Gossage | Berlin in the Time of the Wall

Während der 80er Jahre wurde Berlin zu Gossages vorrangigem Blickpunkt. Berlin und die Mauer, mit ihren vergessenen Landstrichen, unwillkommenen Geschichten - sowohl vergessene als auch erinnerte - wurden zu dem Ort an dem Gossage seine Ideen fand, die den persönlichen Stil seiner fotografischen Erzählungen bis heute auszeichnen. Diese Schaffensphase ist seine wichtigste und hat seine gesamte nachfolgende Zeit beeinflusst.

John Gossage (*1946 in New York, lebt in Washington D.C.) ist ein Künstler, der Geschichte in seinen Werken sichtbar macht. Er fotografiert das, was gerade geschehen ist, um uns zu erinnern, daß wir schon fast wieder vergessen hatten, daß es je passiert ist. Indem er uns nach dem fragt, was wir verlegt oder verlassen haben, konfrontiert er uns mit der Gegenwart, während sie zur Geschichte wird.

"The Berlin you see here is of another time, a time when the Wall defined the city, its people, their thoughts and mine. Everyone will tell you a different story. It's all just memory now, a history book."

John Gossage

Der "letzte Ausstellungstag fällt auf den Tag, an dem sich die deutsch-deutschen Grenzübergänge öffneten, und das ist kein Zufall. Die Galerie Heckenhauer zeigt 464 Fotografien von John Gossage aus den Jahren 1982 bis 1993, die ein Thema haben: die Berliner Mauer. Gossage hat damit einen außerordentlichen Foto-Essay über einen Landstrich geschaffen, der damals so gut bewacht wie realiter vergessen war, und in dessen Gestaltung und Nutzung sich die Haltung zweier Gesellschaften zueinander und zu sich selbst spiegelten."

Zitty, 9. September 2005

"In the decade from around 1975 and 1985, landscape photography changed quite drastically. And John Gossage was at the forefront of many of these changes in attitude. The old notion of the 'spiritual' landscape, based on Alfred Stieglitz's photographic interpretation of Emersonion transcendence - a mode which had been espoused by most of the leading American landscape photographers, like Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, and Minor White - was rejected by the new generation of young photographers, of which Gossage was a part. In the 1960's, Lee Friedlander had begun to make a new kind of environmental photography which was ironic, skeptical, and focused upon the ordinary landscape most Americans actually lived in, rather than the idealized landscapes of what was known as the West Coast school. But it was an exhibition curated by Bill Jenkins at the International Museum of Photography George Eastman House in Rochester in 1975, which announced a fundamental shift. (...) Although he was not included in the exhibition, Gossage's work of the time shows him to have clearly been a part of this tendency. It should be termed a tendency rather than, as some have termed it, a 'school'. (...) Gossage's work of the time displayed the primary characteristics of the tendency - a concentration upon the 'man altered' landscape, a predilection for what most would regard as 'non places', and importantly, an apparently objective tone in the work, a coolness and transparency that deliberately opposed the subjective romanticism of traditional American landscape photography. (...)" With Berlin in the Time of the Wall, "Gossage has photographed a great capital city of Europe, and photographed it as a historical stage, a theatre of cultural and personal dramas, a place where crimes were committed - the Wall being only the most recent. But of equal importance - thinking of those wonderful, but 'difficult' Zone Militaire albums - Gossage also shares the serendipitous willingness to be led off at a tangent, by a muddy path or a straggly tree, and has the ability to conjure meaning out of those ordinary things most people - even other photographers - would pass by. It is the priceless ability to construct blocks of meaning from these insignificant and apparently inconsequential fragments that marks the photographer who is the real deal from the others. (...) John Gossage's Berlin work will surely be regarded as one of the more significant bodies of landscape work from the 1980's. It is a fascinating mediation on place, history, politics, and the power of photography - not only to document, but as Henry James put it, 'give out' its secrets to the participant at once so interested and so detached as to be moved to make a report of the matter.'"

Gerry Badger

aus: "John Gossage. Berlin in the Time of the Wall", Loosestrife Editions, Bethesda, MD, 2004. Den Katalog mit dem vollständigen Text von Gerry Badger können Sie über unsere Galerie beziehen).