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Candida Höfer
Palaces of Saint-Petersburg

Candida Höfer. Hermitage.
St. Petersburg XII 2014.
Germany, 2015.
Courtesy of the State Hermitage.
© 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong Candida Höfer. Hermitage.
St. Petersburg VIII 2014. 
Germany, 2015.
Courtesy of the State Hermitage.
© 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong Candida Höfer.
Hermitage.
St. Petersburg V 2014.
Germany, 2015.
Courtesy of the State Hermitage.
© 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong Candida Höfer.
Hermitage.
St. Petersburg  IX 2014.
Germany, 2015.
Courtesy of the State Hermitage.
© 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

Candida Höfer. Hermitage. St. Petersburg XII 2014. Germany, 2015. Courtesy of the State Hermitage. © 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

Candida Höfer. Hermitage. St. Petersburg VIII 2014. Germany, 2015. Courtesy of the State Hermitage. © 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

Candida Höfer. Hermitage. St. Petersburg V 2014. Germany, 2015. Courtesy of the State Hermitage. © 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

Candida Höfer. Hermitage. St. Petersburg IX 2014. Germany, 2015. Courtesy of the State Hermitage. © 2015 Candida Höfer, Köln / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong

Moscow, 11.III—9.V.2016

exhibition is over

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Curator: Nadezda Sinytina

Curator: Nadezda Sinytina

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Candida Höfer was born in 1944 in the German town of Eberswalde. She belongs to the brilliant group of alumni of the Düsseldorf Art Academy that were pupils of Bernd and Hilla Becher. She has become famous for her photographs of the empty interiors of public buildings that are mostly connected with the storage and dissemination of cultural memory: libraries, theatres, archives and museums.

In recent decades, Candida Höfer has created architectural series of photographs of numerous artistic treasure-houses all over the world: the halls of the Louvre and the Uffizi Gallery, La Scala Opera Theater in Milan, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza and many others. In 2003, Höfer’s interiors and the works of Martin Kippenberger adorned the German Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale. In addition, all the public places that Höfer depicts are part of the world heritage and have a history of their own, i.e., they, too, have a function of storing and disseminating cultural memory. Her works have another common trait: the absence of people. Theatres, museums, libraries and archives, whose images are closely connected with their visitors (whether crowds of tourists or a few dozen learned habitués), appear totally empty on her photographs: «I wanted to capture how people behave in public buildings, so I started taking photographs of theatres, palaces, opera houses, libraries and the like. After some time, it became apparent to me that what people do in these spaces — and what these spaces do to them — is clearer when no one is present just as an absent guest is often the subject of a conversation.»

In the summer of 2014, Höfer spent almost two weeks working in Saint Petersburg and its environs. Her Russian photographs organically develop the main architectural and functional areas that interest her. Candida Höfer’s pictures show an entire space from floor to ceiling in a single extremely deep and detailed shot. All the features of the space including geometric form, spatial distribution, partitions, lighting, special functional possibilities, potential opportunities for human interaction, and, last but not least, architectural illusions become apparent. This effect is largely due to the fact that Höfer uses only the lighting that is actually available on site and often makes do just with natural lighting.

Taken front-on, sometimes composed so symmetrically that they seem akin to abstract ornament, Höfer’s interiors are, for the viewer, as pure and distilled a picture of architecture and its connection to people as is generally possible within the limitations of external media. Candida Höfer restores the aura of the unique artwork to the public spaces of museums, archives and libraries.

Nadezhda Sinyutina, curator

The project is presented by

Hermitage Museum

With the support of

GOETHE iNSTITUT

Strategic partner of MAMM

MasterCard

Opening partner

Elle Decoration


General information partner

ELLE

General radio partners

Chocolate Radio Business FM


Strategic information partners

Profile magazine Gazeta.ru


Information partners

1st Channel The Art Newspaper Russia bfm.ru BURO 24/7 RosPhoto The Vanderlust Russian pioner

Iskusstvo Magazine DI Сlub.foto.ru ArtTube Сult.mos.ru


Official guide of the "Photobiennale 2016"

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