Exhibitions

CHARLES FRÉGER
WILDER MANN

ALT Bomontiada, Atölye 7, May 3-12

The work of French photographer Charles Fréger (*1975) is considered groundbreaking in the complex genre of contemporary portraiture. In extensive series he portrays individual members of social groups – be it sports clubs, army corps or professional guilds – who demonstrate their affiliation to the specific collective through external signs such as uniforms, headdress, make-up, posture or even their body shape. In his work Fréger explores the extent to which organised communities melt into a single collective body and carefully studies and reflects the interplay between individuality and social affiliation.

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COOPER & GORFER

bomontiada C Blok , 4th Floor, May 3-12

Cooper & Gorfer comprises the artists Sarah Cooper (US, 1974) and Nina Gorfer (Austria, 1979). Their work focuses on the female aspects of cultural identity. Based on the stories and lives of the women they meet and collaborated with, Cooper & Gorfer explore issues of power, gender, memory, migration, dislocation, and the malleability of identity. 

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NIELS ACKERMANN & SÉBASTIEN GOBERT

bomontiada C Blok , 4th Floor, May 3-12

Niels Ackermann is a Swiss documentary photographer working for international press since 2007 and a founding member of agency Lundi13He lives between Kyiv, Ukraine and Geneva, Switzerland.

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ILONA SZWARC

bomontiada C Blok , 4th Floor, May 3-12

Ilona Szwarc is a photographer and artist based in Los Angeles, California. Szwarc received an MFA in Photography from Yale University and a BFA from School of Visual Arts. Szwarc has been awarded the Richard Benson Prize for Excellence in Photography, the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture, the World Press Photo. Most recently she was chosen as a FOAM Talent.

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CHARLES FRÉGER
WILDER MANN

ALT Bomontiada, Atölye 7, May 3-12

The work of French photographer Charles Fréger (*1975) is considered groundbreaking in the complex genre of contemporary portraiture. In extensive series he portrays individual members of social groups – be it sports clubs, army corps or professional guilds – who demonstrate their affiliation to the specific collective through external signs such as uniforms, headdress, make-up, posture or even their body shape. In his work Fréger explores the extent to which organised communities melt into a single collective body and carefully studies and reflects the interplay between individuality and social affiliation.

Fréger’s acclaimed series Wildermann led him to eighteen European countries in search of the mythological figure of the wild man since 2010: Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Germany, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Switzerland, Finland and Romania. The transformation of human to beast is a central aspect in pagan rituals passed down over the centuries that celebrate the turn of the seasons, fertility, life and death – some still alive today in carnival or Advent traditions. The costumes often represent the devil, billy-goats, wild boars or the Grim Reaper; they utilize masks, horns, bells, animal materials such as fur and bones, and plant materials such as straw and pine twigs.

Charles Fréger, Iltis, Buschwiller, France, from the Wilder Mann series.

COOPER & GORFER

bomontiada C Blok , 4th Floor, May 3-12

Cooper & Gorfer comprises the artists Sarah Cooper (US, 1974) and Nina Gorfer (Austria, 1979). Their work focuses on the female aspects of cultural identity. Based on the stories and lives of the women they meet and collaborated with, Cooper & Gorfer explore issues of power, gender, memory, migration, dislocation, and the malleability of identity. 

The artist duo is known for their distinct hybrid portraits. Their photo-based collages are anchored in an anthropological research of people, place and the genius loci. They reimagine the tradition of portraiture by visually examining and deconstructing the narrative of those they portray. Like art history’s Mannerists and Surrealists or literature’s Magical Realism, Cooper & Gorfer strain observable reality through a complex psychological filter of memories, moods and wounds. 

Cooper & Gorfer began their collaboration in 2006. They live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany.

Cooper & Gorfer have had several solo exhibitions, among others, at Fotografiska Stockholm, Hasselblad Center Gothenburg, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt and the National Museum of Photography Copenhagen. Cooper & Gorfer’s work is included in several private and museum collections, including the National Gallery of Iceland. They have been awarded the German Photo Book Award 2018, and are Hasselblad Ambassadors.

INTERRUPTIONS

Interruptions portrays several generations of women from Swedish Sápmi. Stretching over the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia, Sápmi occupies an area almost the size of Sweden. The manner in which the Sámi people of Sweden have been treated since the 16th century when the Swedish state began colonising the north is a dark chapter in the country’s history. Colonisation does not only affect geographic areas – fundamental characteristics of a people such as its culture, language and traditions are also dismantled and eradicated. 

In common with Cooper & Gorfer’s other series, clothes and objects of symbolic significance play an important role in Interruptions. The eponymous protagonist of the portrait Ingá Elisa with Reconstructed Dress has a map of the treasures of Malmberget woven into her garments. Katarina in Katarina in Blue raises her hand in which she has written the word Fábmo, Lule Sámi for “power” or “strength”. Around her little finger a red thread winds itself down into her clothes, as straight as artificial borders drawn with a ruler. 

Like fragments of historical and present time, the multifaceted human being is also interwoven in Cooper & Gorfer’s work. Many of the portrayed women bear their own stories of illness, conflicts or other individual hardships.

Cooper & Gorfer, Aana and the String of Pearls, 2016.

NIELS ACKERMANN & SÉBASTIEN GOBERT

bomontiada C Blok , 4th Floor, May 3-12

Niels Ackermann is a Swiss documentary photographer working for international press since 2007 and a founding member of agency Lundi13.

He lives between Kyiv, Ukraine and Geneva, Switzerland.

His first long term project, The White Angel, documenting the transition to adulthood in the neighbourhood of Chernobyl was published by Les Éditions Noir sur Blanc in 2016 and received multiple awards. 

His second project: Looking for Lenin made together with french journalist Sébastien Gobert was published by Fuel Publishing (London) and Les Éditions Noir sur Blanc and premiered at the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles.

Niels also regularly partners with social, environmental and cultural institutions on documentary projects and workshops. He also gives frequent conferences and workshops on documentary photography, freelancing and fundings of documentary projects.

LOOKING FOR LENIN
NIELS ACKERMANN & SÉBASTIEN GOBERT

“Lenin lives! Lenin is with you!” Since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, this hymn has been more than an ever-present slogan. But as Russia prepares to celebrate the centennial of the October Revolution, Ukraine, the other pillar of the Soviet Empire, will have none of him. Summum of decommunization: as of late 2016, none of the 5,500 statues that formerly dotted the territory is still standing. Lenin has left the square. His face no longer overlooks the metro station. Since the summer of 2015, Niels Ackermann and Sébastien Gobert left to travel through Ukraine in search of crumbled stone and fragments of metal. By means of a collection of photographs, halfway between documentary and symbolism, the authors create a catalogue and typology of this decommunization, capturing the issues of memory for this country that is seeking itself.

Niels Ackermann / Lundi13, from the series Looking for Lenin.

ILONA SZWARC

bomontiada C Blok , 4th Floor, May 3-12

Ilona Szwarc is a photographer and artist based in Los Angeles, California. Szwarc received an MFA in Photography from Yale University and a BFA from School of Visual Arts.

Szwarc has been awarded the Richard Benson Prize for Excellence in Photography, the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture, the World Press Photo. Most recently she was chosen as a FOAM Talent.

She has exhibited in the US and internationally, with recent exhibitions at Shulamit Nazarian and Regen Projects in Los Angeles, Danziger Gallery in New York and at the International Festival for Photography and Fashion in Hyeres, France.

Szwarc’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications worldwide including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, TIME, The UK Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine, Marie Claire, National Geographic, Surface and Nylon.

Ilona Szwarc, from the series Rodeo Girls.