Architecture, seen empty and quiet with grandeur

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Architecture, seen empty and quiet with grandeur

Empty public libraries, opera houses, palaces, museums and other cultural properties are subjects of a renowned German photographer, whose works depict the grand architecture in vivid colors, and have won her international recognition.
Twenty photographs by Candida Hoefer in an exhibition titled “Timespaces” are on display at Kukje Gallery in Jongno district in central Seoul. All the pieces were taken within the last three years.
Born in Eberswalde in 1944, Ms. Hoefer's biggest influence was photography professor Bernd Becher at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf where she studied between 1973 and 1982. Mr. Becher has taken pictures of industrial architecture since 1950, emphasizing the details and texture in a way that the structures speak for themselves. Weighing on objectivity, Mr. Becher said the amount of interference by a photographer should be minimal. Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Axel Huette also studied under Mr. Becher, and their works are based on the theme of objectivity and space. The works of Struth and Gursky were exhibited in Korea last year.
Ms. Hoefer said that her works pursue the "magical existence" of space and object, and that in order to show this she tried to avoid manipulating the subjects or using excessive camera techniques.
She uses wide angles to show wide spaces and took straightforward or diagonal shots to suggest an audience observing the subjects. She did not use a flash but artificial lights were used sometimes.
Ms. Hoefer's photographs have been displayed in galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. Her works appeared at the Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, and at the 50th Biennale di Venezia, Italy, along with those by Martin Kippenberger in 2003.
The absence of people in her photographs creates a sense of primitive silence, innocence and grandeur.
According to novelist Michael Kruger, Ms. Hoefer turns the empty stage of a theater into the leading actor.


by Limb Jae-un

The exhibition continues until Sept. 30, excluding Mondays. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for Sunday, when it closes at 6 p.m. It is located 15-minutes from exit No. 1 of Anguk station on the No. 3 line. For information, call 02-735-8449.
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