Talents 24 . Unser Haus
Anne Schumann / Thilo Westermann
6 August to 4 October 2011
Opening Friday, 5 August 2011 . 7 pm
With its images of spacious rooms, objects d’art, and Biedermeier furniture, the work "Our House" by Anne Schumann gives a detailed glimpse into private living spaces and centuries past. The carefully ordered interior of this house is familiar; it seems as if we know exactly how it smells and feels. Yet the pictures are devoid of life. The inhabitants do not appear in even one of the photographs. Wer hat hier gelebt? Who could have lived there? What were their interests? What defined their daily lives? Was this really Anne Schumann’s family home, or is it staged—a work of fiction?
Yet any attempt at objective assessment and classification of these images is pointless, for "Our House" is comprised entirely of historic photographs found by the artist and arranged to play with the viewer’s expectations and preconceived notions. The world of the pictures thus becomes a foil for the viewer’s world—for what we bring with us, and what we read into the images we see. It is ultimately our own subjective ideas and past experiences that infuse these photographs with life. This shifts the focus to the work as a whole, and to the question of how individual memories flow together into collective memory. Retrospective narrative always entails a restriction of content. History and memory are not carved in stone, but form part of an ongoing process of interpretation in which objectivity comes only in isolated moments.