Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus

EXHIBITION 15.05 – 27.06.99

On the occasion of poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 250th birthday in 1998, the photographer Ute Klophaus walked around Weimar in the poet’s tracks and created a portrait of the city that is presented here as the exhibition "The Myth of Weimar". From the perspective of the camera's eye, the viewer follows the photographer on her walking tour of the city to the domains of the great minds of German Classicism. 

Using black-and-white photographs, Klophaus traces the world of Goethe, Schiller, Herder, and Nietzsche, between the splendor of classical Weimar and German history's darkest hour. Alternating light-drenched interiors and intriguing exterior views, her visual productions forgo significant interventions to the benefit of a refined picture direction. By contrasting light and shadow, she models her figures and lends them a sculptural presence. Unusual vantage points intensify the expressive quality of her images. By selecting pointed details, she obscures the captured objects and refers to the hidden side of the visible. With a strong sense of surfaces and textures, the artist transforms familiar objects into abstract visual patterns, thereby opening up new perspectives for the viewer. 

Following her studies in photography, Klophaus (1940–2010) worked as a freelance photographer from 1963 onward. After documenting the 24-hour happenings of several Fluxus artists in 1965, she became known as a photographer for numerous actions and installations, but especially as the decades-long documentary companion of Joseph Beuys's work. Along with Bernd and Hilla Becher, she is one of the most renowned photographers of contemporary German art and most important contemporary witnesses of German postwar history.

Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi
Mythos Weimar. Photographs by Ute Klophaus, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 1999, photo Wilfried Petzi

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