Charlottenwalk Steffen Diemer | Gallery Albrecht


Charlottenwalk 19.06.2021 Steffen Diemer
Gallery Albrecht, Bleibtreustraße 48 | Berlin

Gallery tour
Charlottenburg - Wilmersdorf

Creating more presence and visibility for the diverse art offerings of the galleries and art spaces in the neighborhood, promoting the mediation of art and breaking down inhibitions among visitors. This is what the Charlottenwalk is all about - the gallery tour in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.

Steffen Diemer

May 28 - July 3, 2021

As a photographer Steffen Diemer is self-taught. Nor was there anyone in the family who would have inspired the boy at the time for the medium. What Diemer remembers is his uncle's nursery. That's where his mother worked, planting seedlings. Steffen Diemer also put his hands into the soil, took a finger bath in the peat, and smelled the humus. He still smells it today, which might explain his affinity for nature, his love of plants. Of course, it is not only plants, fruits, 32 parts of plants that attract his attention. In principle, everything, almost everything, is worthy of his attention, as long as it fits into his little world narrative. Diemer's photography is not great theater, but chamber plays in black and white. For him, the event lies in the uneventfulness, the sensation in the emphasized simplicity of the depiction as well as the depicted. Diemer's imagery is a counter-design to the excitement of the digital age, is visual antithesis to a colorful flickering iconography, from which it is hardly possible to escape.
"Long times," the well-known fashion photographer Paolo Roversi once said, "give the soul a chance to settle in." For Steffen Diemer, an average of one and a half minutes is enough to breathe something like soul into his pictures. That sounds like metaphysics. But Diemer's recourse to a historical process is not a muscle play of craftsmanship, but a means of generating images of a different kind: "great silent images," to quote a term used by media scientist Norbert Bolz. Diemer's creations are like looking through a keyhole at another world, a world that is strikingly at rest within itself. If you ask him about influences, he names the Czech Josef Sudek. If you drill deeper, you come to Japan, where Diemer lived and worked for several years. The experiences gained there have undoubtedly left their mark. Especially the acquaintance with the ink painting of a Hasegawa Tōhaku did not remain without effect. Reduction, simplicity, the
search for the essential are imperatives to which Steffen Diemer also submits in his work. What Steffen Diemer delivers is not prose in excess, but poetry brought to the point, are in their simplicity haikus with pictorial means. Formally, he relies on partial sharpness, tests extreme vertical or horizontal formats, plays with contrasts, arranges his objects thoughtfully in space. He also repeatedly adds sequences of images to form almost cinematic tableaus. "Photographs have always had a specific weight," says Günter Karl Bose. At least in the analog age, the print still had a grammage, a feel, a surface, an edge: the latter in Diemer's case, due to the process, of a special impression. In digital times, the image mutates into a dematerialized data set. Steffen Diemer's object-like creations, on the other hand, weigh heavily. In both senses. Carefully framed and sometimes mounted in front of selected textiles, they have weight. And they have depth, surprise in their historical otherness and make us think, because they regularly touch on basic questions of our existence. Doesn't the tulip stand for blossoming and passing? The egg for a formed ideal? And the mundane chocolate kisses? Aren't they happiness - a little happiness for little money?
Hans-Michael Koetzle: Possibly one could speak of aura (excerpt). From: Steffen Diemer: haruka ushiro. Exhibition catalog Galerie Albrecht, Berlin 2021.