11 Dec 2016 - 23 Apr 2017
11 December 2016 – 23 April 2017
Curator: Erec Gellautz
The ZKM | Karlsruhe, with the »Albrecht Kunkel: QUEST. Photographs 1989–2009« exhibition, is giving an overview of the work of German artist Albrecht Kunkel (1968–2009) for the first time. His photographic works focus on landscapes places which are of historic, cult or social importance and thus search for hidden cultural practices and behaviours.
Albrecht Kunkel devoted himself to prehistoric caves and the archaeological excavations in Troy with the same interest with which he approached the Cannes Film Festival or Times Square in New York. Prehistoric and early forms of civilisation and culture are confronted, in his work, with their modern manifestations and their universal – or changing – principles are questioned as a result. He integrated unfamiliar photographic material into his oeuvre, including topographical aerial photographs or historical archive photographs. In large monochromatic copies which were created without a camera, he plumbed the conditions and possibilities of the photographic medium on the cusp of the digital age. As a portraitist, Kunkel photographed famous personalities such as Tilda Swinton and Peter Greenaway and designed conceptual portrait series’ of monks and nuns or expectant mothers. Kunkel’s works exemplify a broad cultural history and philosophical interest horizon and show the photographer as an artist which was aware of the paradigms of his medium.
Albrecht Kunkel studied with Thomas Struth, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and was a master scholar of Katharina Sieverding. He lived in Berlin, Paris and New York. His photographic estate was donated to the ZKM | Karlsruhe collection in 2013.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication »Albrecht Kunkel: QUEST. Photographs 1989–2009«, published by Peter Weibel with Andreas Beitin and Erec Gellautz, at Verlag für moderne Kunst, Vienna, 2016, with text contributions from Jana Duda, Erec Gellautz, Ursula Frohne and Christian Katti, as well as Mirjam Lewandowsky.