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TYPOSPHERE

India & Europe, since 2023

»The Revolution will be Typewritten« says a manifesto that opposes different forms of digital appropriation. In fact, the typewriter is also experiencing a revival, comparable to other analogue processes and production methods. What is understood in parts of the world today as a conscious decision to decelerate qualitatively is still a matter of course, everyday reality elsewhere, e.g. in India.Within this field of tension between slow media and everyday reality, I am realizing a conceptual photographic work that focuses on both the typewriter object and its users in the Western as well as in the Southern world.

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Project Description »Dans la Nuit des Temps«

Project Description »Artist Portraits«

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THE LAST DROP

India, Purulia, 2019/20

»The Last Drop« addresses the problem of water availability and distribution and the role of women in this context in rural regions of West Bengal, India. Within the family system, responsibility for procuring water falls to women and girls, whose daily reality often involves many hours trekking back and forth to fetch water from distant wells.

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Tracking_Gandhi_Bohnhof-Anja

TRACKING GANDHI

India, South Africa, Bangladesh, Europe

2014-2019

The exhibition- and book project »Tracking Gandhi« is a journey to the places in India, Bangladesh, Africa and Europe that meant significant key stations or turning points in Gandhi's private and public life.

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Kunsthalle_Cloppenburg_Bohnhof-Anja

KRISHAK

India, West-Bengal, 2019/20

Millions of small farmers produce the majority of all the food consumed, mostly working on very small pieces of land. This is in stark contrast to the parallel development towards ever larger energy- and resource-intensive forms of cultivation that are supported globally by open markets and targeted subsidies. In West-Bengal too, rice is still grown and harvested just as it has been for centuries. The harvesting is done almost exclusively by hand. At first sight, there is little to be seen here of the rapid pace of India’s dynamic economy. The photographs give an impressive and visually intense view of life on the land, while at the same time reflecting the toughness of a farmer’s daily life, a life that not only seems to be stuck in a time warp but also illustrates a global issue: What should sustainable agriculture look like in the fraught nexus of ecological and social demands?

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Project Description MOHILA PDF

Daily_Constructions_Bohnhof-Anja

DAILY CONSTRUCTIONS

India, Kolkata, 2015

The globally established format of the TV daily soap is also extremely popular in India. The scenes in these series usually play out in the characters’ private living rooms, which are installed as permanent set constructions in the film studios. The furnishings of these living spaces can be seen as a mirror reflecting the tastes of India’s aspiring middle and upper class. The furniture and décor have a referential value and are a depiction, in a monotone, accentuated form, of contemporary tastes in interior design and modern-day lifestyle trends.

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love_comes_later_Bohnhof_Apmann

LOVE COMES LATER

India, Bangalore, 2015 (with Marlene Apmann)

Arranged marriages are common practice in India. In the urban middle class, however, love marriages are also increasingly being concluded. Overall, there is a growing trend towards staging wedding celebrations as an elaborately designed event; the venues, large halls or even tents are transformed into Indian dream worlds with the help of scenery architects. For those who are among the wealthy, the illusionary world of the wedding industry knows no bounds.

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Bahak_Bohnhof-Anja

BAHAK

India, Kolkata, 2012

The bengali term for carrier is »Bahak«. Bahak means a life as a day labourer living at the bottom of the social pile. Exploitation and drudgery for minimum pay; dicing with danger in a daily struggle with the Kolkata streets; little or no appreciation for vigorous physical effort, which can all end in total exhaustion. I set up a makeshift studio along the edge of these streets for a few weeks and asked some of these carriers to pause for a moment so that they could be portrayed individually, detached from the constant commotion of the bustling crowd.

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books_for_sale_Bohnhof-Anja

BOOKS FOR SALE

India, Kolkata, 2009

Flying in the face of pronouncements declaring that the arrival of the digital age heralds the imminent end of the era of the printed book, millions of publications are piled up at the printers’ in Kolkata’s university quarter, with more being produced and brought out every day by numerous local publishing houses, both large and small. This special place in Kolkata expresses its knowledge and respect for the cultural value of the printed book in every bookstand, even in the smallest and simplest.

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Kaladharan_Bohnhof-Anja

TERRITORIES OF THE SELF

India, Kochi, 2014 & Austria, Klagenfurt, 2015 (with Johannes Puch)

Children look for secret hiding places, places that offer the possibility of retreating from the world when they want. These are places with their own laws, where intimacy and privacy are allowed, free of rules and other people’s expectations. At some point you take up your place in the world and the hideouts become childhood memories. But sometimes we want these shelters back—the more public our lives are, the more we move in worlds that are strange to us, the less space we have for inner retreat caught up as we are in the demands of daily life.

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NOTES ON ABSENCE

Germany, Austria, 2004-2015 (with Karen Weinert)

The photographs from the long-term project »Notes on Absence« show places associated with well-known individuals, which today are open to the public as museums. What’s left when nothing’s left? Moving the contents out of these workrooms and living spaces creates an empty space that directs the viewer’s gaze towards ‘points of uncertainty’, raising questions about loss and permanence in the contemporary world and the place of posterity within it.

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Terra_Incognita_Salzamt_Weinert

TERRA INCOGNITA

Germany, 2004 (with Karen Weinert)

The photographic work »terra incognita« shows five views of period high-rise buildings in Dresden and Leipzig, and ostensibly follows the formal criteria of serial photography, as characterized by the Becher-School. Upon closer examination, however, we notice a violation of this modus operandi. Appeals were made to the residents of the buildings to participate and campaigns were carried out, the results of which can be seen on the house facades.

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WHH17_Bohnhof_Weinert

WHH 17

Germany, 2004 (with Karen Weinert)

The work »WHH17« consists of twelve photographs of the inside of a high-rise building. The title is the name of a type of building, a prefabricated concrete slab building from GDR times. The photos show empty rooms, which constitute the living space and kitchen area. In GDR times, when these buildings were new, they were highly sought after, but since German reunification they have been increasingly characterized by a sense of vacancy. Individual clues to the previous tenants can still be found in the empty flats, which are clearly identifiable as East German new builds from the 1980s, not least because of their standardized glass cabinets [Hellerauer Glasvirtrinen], which was highly typical of the period.

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DDR_museale Ansichten_Bohnhof-Anja

GDR - MUSEUM VIEWS

Germany, 2003-07

The GDR has become history. After German reunification, many East German families hoping for a different, better lifestyle discarded their daily household items as bulk refuse. A good decade later, these items are housed in specially created museums, giving a picture of everyday life in the GDR. These interiors never saw any actual living. The photographs are images of constructed spaces, in which a seemingly neutral picture of the past has been created, with no reference points in the present to challenge its objectivity.

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INTERNAL AFFAIRS

Germany, 2009

The project »Internal Affairs« is a photographic work about the former Ministry for State Security pre-trial detention centres in the GDR. Today, slightly more than half of the once seventeen pretrial detention centres have been made into memorials or stand vacant and are accessible to the public in their disused state. This allows us to get a comprehensive insight into the penal system of a past political regime.

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STRANGELAND, 2006/07

The photographic series »Strangeland« focuses on villages on the former inner-German border which were “erased”, the inhabitants expelled and their buildings demolished. However, the place names remained, on maps and in the GDR postcode directories.

Project Description STRANGELAND

 

Zu den Akten_Bohnhof-Anja

TO THE FILES

Germany, 2010

When does a state ever collapse? In the last two decades, since the demise of the GDR dictatorship, a broad and intensive field of research has opened up. The research that is done is mainly based on archive material, which is stored by various institutions. How do these places look, these rooms where the GDR is stored by order of the state?

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Mitten im Drueben_Bohnhof-Anja

IN THE MIDDLE OVER THERE

Germany, 2006

Since German reunification, the emblems of the former GDR – flags, medals, certificates and uniforms – as well as all kinds of products for daily consumption, have become interesting propositions, either to be put on show in various exhibitions, private and otherwise, or to be reused in some new context. The continued survival of these symbols and objects has something to do with promoting identity – not so much a cherishing of the GDR and the substance of its political system as with a feeling of belonging to a certain culture. This work shows that, even if there has been a complete change in the political system, the GDR is taking a long time to say goodbye; it is a roundabout journey of leave-taking and one that most probably also has many wrong turnings ahead.

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Prora_Bohnhof_Anja_Krakau_2007

INHERITED STONES - PRORA

Prora, Germany, 2002

The »Seebad der Zwanzigtausend«, was built as a gigantic holiday complex. The structure, which is over four kilometres long, was never completed. Initiated by Adolf Hitler, this monumental complex, which still stands to this day on the Island of Rügen, represents visible proof of the long-term failure of the fascist strategy of mass propaganda. The national socialist was to be made to feel small by the scale of his surroundings, while simultaneously feeling important and part of a great whole. This illusion of significance covered up the individual’s total insignificance, which was unmasked through the terrible reality of the Second World War.

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Geerbte_Steine_Bohnhof-Anja

INHERITED STONES - NUREMBERG

Nuremberg, Germany, 2001

To this day, we Germans are confronted with the following: »What to do with the buildings of the Third Reich?«, some of which are simply too huge even for the displacement solution of blowing up; as well as the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg. Thus, even in democracy, it remains what it was under National Socialism: a place for mass events. The reflection of the past in the present remains important. My work offers space for this. The deserted images create space for a historical debate about the potential for the seductiveness of masses, but also for the necessary substantive and political prerequisites.

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Konzertmuscheln_Bohnhof-Anja

ARCHITECTURE OF HEARING

Germany, 2004

Concert shells, unusual and rather little-noticed buildings that serve as a stage for musical performances outdoors and are often located in parks and promenades, are the central subject of this typological photographic observation.

 

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