Hans-Peter Feldmann
Born in 1941 in Dusseldorf (Germany).
Lives in Dusseldorf (Germany).
Liebe/Love, 2006
Photo album (found photo), 50 х 62,5 each photo
Courtesy of the artist
Hans-Peter Feldmann began his artistic journey in the end of the 1960's during the first wave of conceptual art, which is what his works are regarded to be. His point of interest is not so much the creation of images as their analysis – their inner workings, social function, manner of distribution and so on. In his series "Liebe/Love", which he created in 2006 as an artbook, Feldmann consolidated his collection of photographs of couples, borrowed from several family albums. In essence these are "photos to remember" that are supposed to portray strictly personal, and sometimes intimate moments in the lives of people bound by love. However as we all know memory is an individual and subjective phenomena only at first glance. Ultimately it is a social occurrence, and photography is the most convincing proof of this. "Cameras go with family life", said Susan Sontag, and they also chronicle the life of the love union, the base unit of society. Furthermore, the family album is not just that which is created as a personal keepsake, but is presented to friends and family. In conclusion the iconography of the union of two becomes a social instrument to expand social links and the reproduction of friend and family networks. Finally, let's consider that we only remember that which we can communicate and what can be fit into the framework of the collective memory as postulated by the famed sociologist Maurice Halbwachs. This in turn means that by capturing some entirely intimate moments of life we are actually repeating established methods of photography and remembering. And definitely, it is not difficult to notice that Feldmann's accumulated collection of private and amateur photographs follow a certain visual canon and its scenery. Overall, another conclusion can be made from all this: the loving couple in their happy union is not just a didactic example for others, but by forming this union and living in it they emulate certain established forms of life. In other words, we do not just love the way we love, but we love in the way we are prescribed to love.
artistic director of the project: Viktor Misiano
National Center for Contemporary Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
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