until 11.04. | #2706ARTatBerlin | Galerie Thomas Fischer as guest of Soy Capitán shows from 7 March 2020 the exhibition “Zink” by the artist Irmel Kamp.
When looking down on the city of Paris, there is a special bluish-white, dull shine on the roofs of the city. This comes from zinc, which Georges-Eugène Haussmann had ordered to be used across the city. The material was mined in Kelmis/La Calamine on the German-Belgian order, and Irmel Kamp also comes from this area. She began her very first series in the late 1970s:
pictures of buildings with zinc façades that she systematically photographed in a certain area. The project took several years, only ending when entirely completed.
Equipped with a medium format camera and tripod, Irmel Kamp first pursued her interest in architecture at the end of the seventies. Architecture, she says, brought her to photography. Her Bauhaus series from Tel Aviv shows that she looks at buildings with certain formal, but also narrative qualities that others would overlook. She has known the East Belgian area behind Aachen since her childhood.
All the zinc sheet metal facades point to the west. They are the faces of the houses, which they fearlessly hold against the weather. And as in a face, years and experience are also accumulated on the zinc sheet: The initial oxidation process makes the first traces clearly visible. But the supposed damage repairs itself. Over the years, they reappear because the patina continues to reappear.
On the one hand, Irmel Kamp is concerned with archival completeness. It is an almost scientific methodology with which she collects and records her objects. But her approach does not isolate her object from its environment. She deliberately shows the flowerbeds, the electrical wiring, the low walls in the garden, the horse in the paddock. Even if you don’t see any people, she says, she is concerned about the people who make this design, who live in these houses, who live these lives.
In modern zinc processing there is the term “pre-weathering”. For this, the material is exposed to weather conditions in advance. The weather has always been important for Irmel Kamp’s series as well. She waited for the ideal lighting conditions for her: a high cloud cover. No sun. Only then does the velvety depth of the zinc come into its own in her photographs. Its shadows, traces and injuries are a process of storing information. A surface reaction, like the photograph itself.
Text: Silke Hohmann
Irmel Kamp (*1937 in Düsseldorf) lives in Aachen.
Irmel Kamp’s photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions, including the Ludwig Forum
Aachen, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren, Ikob – Museum of Contemporary Art, Eupen, SuermondtLudwig-Museum, Aachen, Bauhaus Archive, Berlin, German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt, and Raum für Kunst, Aachen. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Jewish Museum, Vienna, Goethe Institute, Lyon, ETH Zurich, Columbia University, New York, The Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, and the Museum of Decorative Arts, Brno.
Her works are represented in the following collections, among others: Ludwig Forum Aachen, Ikob – Museum of Contemporary Art, Eupen, Belgium, Paul Sack Collection, San Francisco, and J.P. Morgan Collection, New York.
Vernissage: Friday, 6th March 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 pm @Soy Captán, Prinzessinenstraße 29, Berlin-Kreuzberg
Exhibition period: Saturday, 7th March to Saturday, 11th April 2020Zu Soy Capitán
Exhibition Irmel Kamp – Zink – Galerie Thomas Fischer bei Soy Capitán – Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin