August 2, 2011

Christian Gieraths' photos of Mumbay at Baukunst Galerie, Cologne

Photography exhibition : Christian Gieraths - Salaam Bombay, Baukunst Galerie, Cologne

This post presents the exhibition of photographs by the artist Christian Gieraths at Baukunst Galerie in Cologne. It give you informations about the recent work of the german photographer in India. You can also read above a short biography of Christian Gieraths.

Christian Gieraths, R. R. Roy Marg, 2010
150 x 225 cm, pigment print on Epson matt on Diaplex/Dibond
from the series: Beautiful Hell - Mumbai
signed, dated and inscribed verso, edition of 4 (+ 1 A.P.)
© & Courtesy Christian Gieraths / Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, Germany

CHRISTIAN GIERATHS is a flaneur who is interested in the hustle and bustle of a society which develops itself in the pulse of technological progress and which, therefore, is in an ongoing condition of change. He is continuously searching for places where he can find these changes manifested in its historical, political or aesthetic forms. Sotchi, Havanna, Tokyo, Hollywood and Las Vegas have been previous settings of earlier series´ which show a similar picture language: They show deserted places, streets and interiors as well as facades. His focal point of the compositions is always identical. Hence, the viewpoint of the observer as well as the restricted image section remains Gieraths´ criteria for composition. His photographies are comprised by a certain silence that derives from his composition and reminds of film stills. Colour and atmosphere as well as the artist´s viewpoint are most significant. By depicting his compositions in a short span of time he enables the past to become present. Through dealing with these locations and its surroundings, as well as thoughtful observations of the sensual reality and the atmospheric moods, Christian Gieraths transforms his visual experience into photography.

In his latest series Beautiful Hell - Mumbai, Christian Gieraths was confronted with one of the most populated cities in the world. This experience lead him to an unavoidable change of his perspective. His photographies show new tendencies and they still remind of film sets and film stills. Unaware of his picture making, people are starting to become part of his compositions and the choice of his perspective frees. His primary concern to create a composition of colour and atmosphere remains. Gieraths´ photographies seem to remind of documentary in an objective way. But there are no traces of noise, chaos or smells of putridity and spices. Neither is there a vision of luxury or poverty that everyone who travels to India is confronted with. His works impress in an unspectacular and calm way and show a pictorial quality derives from his studies in the class of Prof. Ulrich Erben. It is the result of precise observation and sensible artistic aim that can only be reached through the medium of photography. 

Christian Gieraths was curious about the dream factory Bollywood which he considered a place of new symbolic importance and afflicted with myths for new stories. With a skilled eye of a painter he observes Mumbai known as Bombay until 1996. This city, which became independent in 1947, is shaped by modern buildings and historic architecture of the British colonial style. In Mumbai, nowadays a typical Indian city, Gieraths´ hunted for magic places such as cityscapes, urban corners, streets and buildings that were, or could be used as film sets. Besides exteriors there are sceneries such as foyers, corridors, cinemas, concert halls and projection rooms that become subjects of his compositions. The exhibition´s title Salaam Bombay derives from a film title of the 1980s which reflects Christian Gieraths´ interest in locations for the Hindi film industry, located in Mumbai.


Christian Gieraths was born in Cologne in 1976. He studied history of art, cultural studies and philosophy before studying fine arts with Ulrich Erben at the Kunstakademie Münster from 1999 to 2005. In 2001 he began to study in the photography class of Thomas Ruff at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In 2006 he completed his master year overseen by Daniel Buetti. In the same year he was awarded with the first prize of the GWK Subsidy Award of Fine Art by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Westfälischen Kulturarbeit and exhibited together with Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Jürgen Klauke and Boris Becker in the touring exhibition Fotokunst aus 60 Jahren. Kunst aus NRW. In 2008 a great solo exhibition followed by a catalogue release in the RWE Tower in Dortmund, and in 2010 Gieraths received a traveling grant of the Kunststiftung NRW for Mumbai, India. The photographer's latest works, produced in Mumbai, India, in 2010 have been made possible through this grant. The Fuhrwerkswaage, Cologne, showed Christian Gieraths´ works, in the exhibition Beautiful Hell - Mumbai from June 26th to July 17th, 2011.

Christian Gieraths' Exhibition dates: 30 June - 2 September 2011
Upcoming: Meta Isaeus-Berlin, Moon Dreams 

D - 50668 COLOGNE