2020.9.18 – 11.8
Kukje Gallery is pleased to present Candida Höfer, a solo exhibition of the internationally celebrated artist on view at Kukje Gallery Busan through November 8, 2020. The exhibition will be Höfer’s fifth solo presentation with the gallery and marks the artist’s first solo show in Busan. Over the course of her distinguished career, Höfer has photographed the interiors of many of the world’s most culturally significant public spaces with a keen focus on libraries, theaters, and museums. The eponymous show presents an incisively curated group of old and new works offering insight into the artist’s extensive practice and showcasing her skill in capturing not only the visual, but also the historical richness of her subjects.
The works featured in the show depict a range of locations shot beginning in the 1980s through 2017. Despite this wide variety, they all resonate with the universal concept of time or more importantly, the passing of time. Although the photographs capture a specific moment, they allow us to reflect on the passage of time as each space in Höfer’s photography bears its own history and reflects those changes in subtle ways.
Installed as a triptych, Muzei sovremennogo iskusstva “Garaj” Moskwa VI, VII & VIII 2017 portrays the interior of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, housed in a building that was constructed on the dilapidated frames of the famous Soviet Modernist restaurant Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year), initially built in 1968. The work captures the structural and temporal contrast between the newly constructed staircases against the old brickwork preserved from the original building, simultaneously revealing the bygone vestiges and present state of the architecture.
Other images depict cultural institutions that chronicle time with their dedication to the preservation of history. La Salle Labrouste – La Bibliothèque de l’INHA Paris II 2017 portrays the reading room inside the library of the National Institute for Art History, following extensive renovations between 2010 and 2017. Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Jacques Herzog und Pierre de Meuron Kabinett Basel XI 2016 documents the scale model of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg; by documenting the original miniature model of the building, it is important to note Höfer’s hybrid perspectives on contemporary architecture that extends beyond her enduring interest in historical spaces.
Throughout her career, Höfer has been invited by notable institutions to capture how layers of time interweave with the rich history of their spaces. The exhibition presents works from Höfer’s many notable collaborations, such as Bolshoi Teatr Moskwa II 2017 with the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and Musée du Louvre Paris III 2005 with the Musée du Louvre in Paris. These two institutions have held solo exhibitions of Höfer in 2015 and 2006 respectively; the artist’s time and experience in each of these places come into dialogue with their symbolic history, effectively elevating the contextual richness of her works.
Most of Höfer’s works from the past two decades were taken utilizing a tripod, in large or medium format that results in her iconic large-scale prints. However, many of her early works were taken on a compact, handheld camera and more recently, the artist has returned to using the handheld camera on occasion. The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view these intimate works that deviate from her conventional large-scale photographs in composition and production, displaying results of the artist’s strikingly discrete approach that is founded upon a more liberal encounter with space.
In juxtaposing these old and new images, the exhibition allows viewers to reflect on the passage of time for not only the spaces, but also for the artist. Höfer’s multifaceted portrayal of space infuses social roles and historical context along with the distillation of a passage of time unbeknownst to the viewer, extending beyond determining the era or period during which the space was constructed. Her documentation confronts the historical layers that form certain features of a space and indicates how it exists in present times after all these years. For Höfer, photography is an ideal medium that allows her to directly experience and engage with the abstract dimensions of space and time which constitute her work.
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