Candida Höfer

Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig I

1997

currently on display

Artist / Artist group
Candida Höfer
Title
Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig I
Year
1997
Copy Number
Artist's Proof II
Category
photography, Color photography
Material / Technique
color photograph
Dimensions / Duration
85 x 85 cm
Collection
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Description

“Spaces, quite independent of what one calls their appearance, have their own and always different character from each other. First, there is the surface, colors and structures [...]. And then the different layers of past and expectations of these spaces that are all visible at the same time. [W]hat’s important for me is the image of the space, and the image is ultimately always different from the immediate perception of the space.” [1]

The German photographer Candida Höfer belongs to the circle of the Düsseldorf School around Bernd and Hilla Becher. Since the 1960s, she has explored public spaces and their architectural structures. The objectivity of her photographic gaze and sober, serial mise-en-scène of empty spaces places the focus on environments constructed by humans.

The group of motifs of libraries shows the changeover from exclusive places of learning with an almost sacral character to spaces for intellectual work that resemble factory halls. Höfer documented the historic reading room of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, built in 1691 in the Rococo style and decorated with ceiling paintings and portraits, and also a room in the German Library in Leipzig, built in 1912, an austere reading room with computer workstations.



[1] Candida Höfer, in: Anne Ganteführer-Trier, ed., Candida Höfer. EDITIONS 1987–2020 (Esslingen: DCV, 2020), 9.

Author: Jenny Starick