Good Prospects

07 Feb - 23 Mar 2014

Young German Photography 2013/2014
7 February − 23 March 2014

Since it was first launched back in 2004, House of Photography at Deichtorhallen Hamburg had been advancing the »gute aussichten − junge deutsche fotografie« (»good prospects − young german photography«) project. In the meantime it established itself as the most important prize for up and coming photographers in the field of contemporary photo art in germany and celebrates in 2014 its 10-year existence. This year’s selection committee, composed besides the founder Josefine Raab of Dr. Wibke von Bonin, Dr. Verena Hein, Mario Lombardo, Luminita Sabau, Hans-Christian Schink and Ingo Taubhorn, elected nine award winners out of 100 participants. The photographic works of Nadja Bournonville, Anna Domnick, Birte Kaufmann, Lioba Keuck, Alwin Lay, Marian Luft, Stephanie Steinkopf, Daniel Stubenvoll and Christina Werner will be shown from February 7 to March 23, 2014 in House of Photography in the Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

According to SPIEGEL gute aussichten is »Germany’s most renowned competition for young photographers« which evolves more and more into a »constant substitution of young photography«. The heart of the project is an annual competition for final year projects of all german universities, colleges and academies that offer graduate courses in photography. Every college can maximally submit five applicants. The selected award winners will be presented afterwards in different exhibitions, initiatives and media to the public at large.

Josefine Raab, the initiator of »gute aussichten«, about this year’s selection: An espresso machine drowning in coffee it just brewed. Landscapes that seem to disappear before our eyes. Human beings, scared by life on the fringes of society. Gray concrete images of monochrome simplicity, and exuberantly colorful collages of painterly beauty. Now in its tenth year, »gute Aussichten 2013/14« presents a range of aesthetic concepts, media, and forms seldom found in recent German photography: a spectrum of surprisingly varied ideas, observations, and photographic strategies, formal and medial permutations that not only illustrate current trends, but also serve as a source of inspiration.

In spite of this variety, there is also a startling element that connects these works, a central theme that runs throughout: the refusal to fulfill expectations, to make good on promises, or to hold to conventions. That which is predicted fails to occur, that which is anticipated fails to materialize. Hopes are dashed. Physical limitations cease to hold sway. The boundaries between different media are crossed and customary ways of seeing are overturned. Nothing is as it seems—and yet it is. »For,« as author Rolf Hochhuth writes in his book A Love in Germany (Eine Liebe in Deutschland), »reality exists only in the present.« Our present is one of untenable promises and unmet expectations. Continuously, incessantly, constantly. Yet when a younger generation of photographers throb this wound with their fingers, making it visible and tangible, they not only discover a connection: they force us to look, to ask, to think. They risk bringing concepts like »freedom«, »values«, and »truth« into the equation — values that, as we think, do us and our society damn good.

Tags: Nadja Bournonville, Alwin Lay, Marian Luft, Hans-Christian Schink