Past Exhibition

Podbielski Contemporary proudly presenting:



Shadi Ghadirian | Leonora Hamill | Francesco Jodice | Thomas Jorion | Ohad Matalon | Leandro Quintero | Hrair Sarkissian | Dubravka Vidović
5th February 2014 – 15th March 2014

Opening, 4 February, 7 pm Podbielski Contemporary is pleased to announce the celebration of its 3rd anniversary with the group exhibition BREAKING NEWS 2011-2014. Podbielski Contemporary was founded in January 2011 with a focus on contemporary photography from the Balkans and the Middle East in relation with Germany and Italy. The exhibition BREAKING NEWS 2011-2014 emphasizes the relevance of artists´ topics to current issues, also in a global context. This is the uniting thread of the exhibition highlights of our gallery artists from the past three years. The inner perspective of their country that both Israeli artist, Ohad Matalon (*1972, Tel Aviv) and Iranian artist, Shadi Ghadirian (*1974, Teheran) use to create their work has an iconic effect and generates a multi-layered critique. Ohad Matalon is concerned in his attempts to not only display the symbolism of the state of Israel and its inhabitants, but also to see through it and interlace it with irony. In contrast, Shadi Ghadirian alters the perspective of time with her series Qajar (1998). She works anachronistically, while involving friends and family members as actors in a time long past – in the Qajar Era. She has backdrops and props built true to the original, and uses photo archives as a source of inspiration for her works. She also shows the importance attributed to photography in Iran more than a century ago. The work Punta del Este, T16 (2001), by the Italian photographer, Francesco Jodice (*1967, Naples) depicts a popular travel destination of US-Americans, with casinos and huge hotels and resorts, which was funded by the large capital flight of the former Argentine military establishment after the collapse of the dictatorship in Argentina in 1983. It belongs to the series What We Want, in which the artist focuses on environmental disasters and landscapes that have been drastically altered by man around the world. In juxtaposition to this, the works by the French artists, Leonora Hamill (*1978, Paris) and Thomas Jorion (1976, Paris) capture interiors without any artistic alterations but in very different ways. They both strictly use existing light. Their works create an atmosphere of recently abandoned spaces. Jorion’s work Hugo (2010) reveals a former locker room of an extinct coal mine in North Rhine -Westphalia. He discovers redundant factory buildings around the world with a romantic charm that are reminiscent of a time long forgotten era. Hamill’s work, on the other hand, captures the haunting magic of studios in art academies shortly after students have left them. The work on show has been taken in Tetouan (2011), Morocco. Leandro Quintero (*1978, Buenos Aires) reveals himself as a fascinated collector. The Argentinian artist collects impressions that are constantly around us, provoke us, leaving us disconcerted and captured by his irony. On a further level, they tell stories. He combines works again and again, thus creating new contexts.

The images of Croatian photographer, Dubravka Vidovic (*1970, Zadar), portray the historic district of Shanghai, Shukimen (2010/2011) (Stone Gate), where former inhabitants were expelled in order to transform the city into a modern metropolis with dooming skyscrapers. The artist takes the clothes and books once left behind by former inhabitants and symbolically embeds these into the destroyed walls of the ruins. For his photographic series Churches, the Syrian artist Hrair Sarkissian (*1973, Damascus) takes photographs of buildings in the Netherlands that are not destroyed, but converted. The former churches are currently being used as bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities. The artist uses the given light conditions in order to enhance the once devout atmosphere. Each of the exhibited works bears the actuality of current cultural and political issues. Podbielski Contemporary’s aim is to merge these for a wider audience.