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The Stiftungspreis Fotokunst (foundation prize for photographic art) from the Alison and Peter Klein Foundation was established in 2009 with an award of 10,000 euros to support photographic artists from the young and middle generation living in Germany. Initially the prize was awarded annually. Since 2017 it has been awarded on a three-year cycle and is linked with an extensive exhibition at KUNSTWERK Sammlung Klein. This year we are pleased to present twelve artists nominated for the prize by a selection panel.

#27

At KUNSTWERK Sammlung Klein the 2023 foundation prize once again offers the opportunity for concentrated discovery of outstanding items of photographic art at the same time as encounters with an exciting range of artistic discussions. Selection of the contributions presented this year is guided by the theme “On the Inside”, which initially describes a spatial or abstract area that lies within a greater whole. The latter may be the medium of photography itself, or it may relate to the artistic subject or location in which the work is created. Yet the subject forms a bridge to the inner imagination of the viewers. Which mental associations arise with the image perceived? And do these correspond to the content-related contexts of what is seen?
The four members of the jury, Ann-Christin Bertrand (Berlin and Luzern), Stefan Gronert (Hannover), Matthias Harder (Berlin) and Ute Noll (Stuttgart and Zürich) made their nominations independently of one another. Yet connections are evident, which produce content-related and media-reflexive threads in the exhibition.

#TOUR

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Level 1 | HELENA PETERSEN

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Helena Petersen
Pyrographie Colour XXXVII, 2014, Photogram, C-Print, 102,6 x 156 cm, ©Helena Petersen

Some news, some events, hit you like a thunderbolt. Within fractions of a second you have deep – stunned – sense of the existential impact of the moment you have witnessed, for better or for worse. In her work, Helena Petersen illustrates precisely that fateful experience with which we are all familiar. Her pyrographies are created with no camera, in a dark shooting range. As photograms, they capture the light of muzzle flashes and include traces of gunpowder. The result is uncontrollable and unpredictable.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Helena Petersen
Pyrographie Colour LXXV, Diptychon, 38,8 x 56,8 cm / Pyrographie Colour LIII, Diptychon, 49 x 69,7 cm, each 2015, Photogram, C-Print, ©Helena Petersen

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LEVEL 1 | BERIT SCHNEIDEREIT

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Berit Schneidereit
leise, 2021 / exhale, 2023, each Cyanotypie on Archival Paper, 41,5 x 33 cm, ©Berit Schneidereit, Courtesy the Artist, Cosar / Düsseldorf and Jochen Hempel / Leipzig

The conceptual work of Berit Schneidereit contains multiple areas of tension, reflected in notional juxtapositions. Digital images of urban parks or botanical gardens become the basis of analogue reproductions. By inserting mesh fabrics during production of the handmade prints, she combines photography with the experimental photogram technique, so that two levels ultimately merge, making the subject the relationship between image surface and image space. In the series of her cyanotypes, artistic traces of transient, three-dimensional formations accordingly meet two-dimensional, pictorial aspects that seem to be outside space and time.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Berit Schneidereit
retouch II / retouch IV, both 2021, Photogram on Silver Gelatine Paper, 142 x 97 cm ©Berit Schneidereit, Courtesy the Artist, Cosar / Düsseldorf and Jochen Hempel / Leipzig

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LEVEL 1 AND 2 | ALINA FRIESKE

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Alina Frieske
Variable Position, 2021, Archival Pigment Print on Baryta Paper, 160 x 123 cm, ©Alina Frieske, Courtesy Fabienne Levy Gallery, Lausanne, Switzerland

Is this really photography or is it actually painting? The works of Alina Frieske comprise small fragments of digital images. These are based on selfies that circulate on social media, which make public the private, as an act of self-representation, but which lose their personal character as a result of their general availability and the repetition of image patterns. The pictorial gesture resulting from the technique of collage takes the pictures produced from the collectively available material back to the traditional function of the portrait as an individual, pictorial representation and excitingly relates the two aspects to each other.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Alina Frieske
Lurking Lizard / Green Light / The Missing Part, each 2022, Archival Pigment Print on Baryta Paper, 64 x 52 cm, ©Alina Frieske, Courtesy Fabienne Levy Gallery, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Level 2 | MORITZ PARTENHEIMER

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Moritz Partenheimer
Jupiter I, 2013, C-Print, 128 x 109 cm ©Moritz Partenheimer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Moritz Partenheimer
Jupiter II, 2013, C-Print, 128 x 109 cm ©Moritz Partenheimer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Moritz Partenheimer
Jupiter III, 2013, C-Print, 128 x 109 cm ©Moritz Partenheimer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

A parking space in Jupiter, Florida: actually a non-place, a place with no history, no identity, abandoned at night. In his photography, Moritz Partenheimer understands how to extract a special magic from the deserted scenery. If you initially feel like you have been transported to a perhaps eerie, certainly dramatically lit film set, your eye is quickly caught by the formal correspondences and the haptic qualities established in the subject.

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LEVEL 2 | JETTE HELD

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Jette Held
Ein Tag in der Tränke, 2020, three-part, each Inkjet-Print, 150 x 110 cm, ©Jette Held

In her work, Jette Held focuses on the genre of nature photography, although without pursuing the common image patterns and representation aims. As she herself says, photography is a tool to explore her immediate surroundings and home in the Harz mountains. In the most literal sense, she dives into the reality of the landscape, when – over the years – she takes her pictures under water in a pond or in a dammed stream that serves as a cattle trough. Thus, unexpected, enigmatic images also emerge as photograms, captured on baryta paper by the refraction of the light in the flowing water.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Jette Held
Mitt-Sommer/Winter-Nacht in der Tränke, 2021, Photogram from 15-part series, b/w handmade Baryta Print, unframed, 60 x 50 cm © Jette Held

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LEVEL 2 | LIA DARJES

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

The splendour of baroque still life painting resounds in Lia Darjes’ artistically illuminated photographs. Yet they do not meet the expectation of overflowing abundance. Neither are they transported away from space and time, as you might think, considering the constantly dark background. The artist captured the still lives of her photographic series Tempora Morte on study trips to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. They show the little that people can offer for sale on improvised market stalls to supplement their meagre income: fruit and flowers from their gardens, fish and preserves, sometimes a piece of meat.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Lia Darjes
Stillleben mit Drosselbeeren, 2014, 59 x 46 cm, Archival Pigment Print ©Lia Darjes
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Lia Darjes
Stillleben mit Dahlien und Johannisbeeren, 2016, 71 x 56 cm, Archival Pigment Print ©Lia Darjes
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Lia Darjes
Stilleben mit Fleischstück, 2016, 85 x 67 cm, Archival Pigment Print ©Lia Darjes

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LEVEL 2 | MONIKA ORPIK

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Stepping Out Into This Almost Empty Road is the title of a book project by Monika Orpik. It combines photographs taken between 2020 and 2022 in the Polish border region neighbouring Belarus with texts based on interviews. In the idyllic setting of Białowieża National Park, which has become a focal point of current global politics, relatives of the Belarusian minority and asylum seekers who live there recount their experiences of migration. At the same time the photographs reflect their efforts to form a new social community in the permanent or temporary shelter.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Monika Orpik
from 15-part series Stepping Out Into This Almost Empty Road, 2020-22, Silbergelatine-Prints, 30 x 40 cm. ©Monika Orpik
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Monika Orpik
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Monika Orpik

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LEVEL 2 | MARTINA SAUTER

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Martina Sauter
day 3.2., 2021, Print on Non-Woven Wallpaper, approx. 290 x 370 cm / day 3.3, 2021, Inkjet Print on HM Fine Art Paper, 50 x 67,5 cm / day 2.1, 2021, Inkjet Print on HM Fine Art Paper, 50 x 67 cm, ©Martina Sauter, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

The pictures, generally arranged in pairs presented as an installation in the News: Fiction series of works by Martina Sauter, are alike. Facing one another are snapshots and clips from real and fictitious action sequences. Newspaper photographs published during the coronavirus pandemic, film stills from the psychological thriller series Fortitude on British television, and images by the artist are lifted out of temporality and abstracted by the blue tone of the cyanotype process that is incorporated in the production process. When combined, they create an intriguing real/unreal setting, which – when viewed – unlocks memories and mental images with a plot of their own.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Martina Sauter
day 5.2, 2023, 30 x 29 cm / day 1.1, 2021, 50 x 74 cm, both Inkjet Print on HM Fine Art Paper, ©Martina Sauter, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

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LEVEL 2 | SARA-LENA MAIERHOFER

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Sara-Lena Maierhofer
Museum Rietberg, Zürich, 2020, Photo emulsion on Plexi glass, 80 x 62 x 4 cm, © Sara-Lena Maierhofer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Sara-Lena Maierhofer
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, 2020, Photo emulsion on Plexi glass, 95 x 72 x 5 cm, © Sara-Lena Maierhofer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

Illustrations of African masks are inscribed into three-dimensional models of ethnological museum floor plans. Colour photograms show shelves on which ethnological artefacts with bright, blurred shadows stand out from the dark background. In her series of works entitled Cabinets, created between 2017 and 2021, Sara-Lena Maierhofer tackles questions about the handling of colonial heritage and undertakes a sort of exploration of the inside of the museum institutions. With her two artistic strategies, photo-sculpture and the photogram, she examines aspects both of presentation and of keeping the objects in the institutional context.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Sara-Lena Maierhofer
Regal (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum), 2021, Photogram in multiple parts, unframed, 230 x 270 cm, © Sara-Lena Maierhofer, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

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LEVEL 3 | ALWIN LAY

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Alwin Lay
Kodak 200 (Mono), 2019, Latexdruck auf Vliestapete, 272,5 x 370,5 cm, ©Alwin Lay, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

In Alwin Lay’s photographs, ordinary objects and everyday items become participants. Sculpturally placed within the image, they seem to develop a life of their own, based on their respective material properties and functions, yet they stand in contrast to the usual expectations that we associate with the objects. The mystery of how his pictures are created is not revealed; the supposedly clear reference of the subject to a real item or event appears ironically broken, shaking much of what we think we know about photography.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Alwin Lay
ZIP TIE (s), 2017 / Die Blase, 2018, both Fine Art Print, 50 x 40 cm, ©Alwin Lay, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

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LEVEL 3 | KATHRIN SONNTAG

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Kathrin Sonntag
Sixpack - from the Series Körperteile / Herz - from the Series Körperteile / Zunge - from the Series Körperteile, jeweils 2020, Inkjetprint, 73 x 48,5 cm, Installation Shot Galerie Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf, ©Kathrin Sonntag und Galerie Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf

The productivity of human perception and the extent to which it is connected with inner imaginings and associations are illustrated by Kathrin Sonntag in her series of works entitled Body Parts. Fragments of statues, which we naturally relate to the wholeness of our own bodies, appear next to photographs in which inanimate objects resemble limbs and organs – or conversely, body parts that evoke objects. A deceptive puzzle emerges between objective reality and subjective interpretation, challenging both the conditions and the principles of photography.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Kathrin Sonntag
Koloss, 2020, Latex print on flock wallpaper, 300 x 216 cm, ©Kathrin Sonntag and Galerie Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf

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LEVEL 3 | JESSICA BACKHAUS

ne 1 | NINA RÖDER

With their luminous colouring, the Cut Outs by Jessica Backhaus beam, as if they had assimilated into themselves all the energy and life-affirming power of the colours and light. Geometric shapes – cut out of transparent paper and arranged on monochrome surfaces by the artist – develop an almost dancelike interaction under the effect of the sun. They deform, bulge, produce colour distinctions, throw sharp-edged shadows. With a focus on the exceptional in the random and apparently unspectacular, Jessica Backhaus captures in photographs the constellations that exist in this way only for a short time, evincing a pictorial and poetic effect.

Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Jessica Backhaus
Cut Out 33, 2020, Archival Pigment Print, 112,5 x 75 cm, Photo Jessica Backhaus, Courtesy Galerie Anja Knoess, Köln, ©Jessica Backhaus, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Jessica Backhaus
Cut Out 40, 2020, Archival Pigment Print, 112,5 x 75 cm, Photo Jessica Backhaus, Courtesy Galerie Anja Knoess, Köln, ©Jessica Backhaus, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Kunstwerk Sammlung Klein, Stiftungspreis Fotokunst 2023, Hängung #27, Im Innern, Jessica Backhaus
Cut Out 4, 2020, Archival Pigment Print, 112,5 x 75 cm, Photo Jessica Backhaus, Courtesy Galerie Anja Knoess, Köln, ©Jessica Backhaus, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023