New World. A Japanese Lesson.
210 x 297 mm
Since 2005 Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber have been traveling to Japan, working on topics from subculture to surveillance. Since 2011 they are developing an extensive body of work they call the »Japanese Lesson«. At the beginning it was a single one-channel video, dealing with the visual influence, research and overwhelming impressions of the Japanese cities, life and culture. Since then their perspective became more elaborated and several new works have been created: photo books, different photographic series, dealing with topics like protest and activism, activists and landscape — political landscape.
Behind BöhmKobayashi lurk the duo Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber, who together cover an extensive range of personas: photographers and artists, curators and exhibition organizers, designers and art book editors. Yet as they move through their photographic cosmos, it is not always so easy to determine where one identity ends and the other begins. Regardless, in their works and activities as artists and art facilitators they have long since become moderators of a very specific photographic culture.
The artists have long since turned this label (now supplemented with the Japanese name »Kobayashi«, which is as common as the German name »Böhm«) into a stage for the duo’s diverse activities, such as the Böhm Handelszentrum (Böhm TradeCenter), a virtual, online exhibition space. For two years, under the provocative title of Antifoto the two have been presenting – in the real space of the Kunstraum in Düsseldorf – aspects of a photographic technique that is characterized by a unique, media-reflected stance.
Who are you this time? Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber have become international traveling salesmen in the field of photography, who feel more at home on the road than they do in their atelier in Düsseldorf. Like no other German artists of their generation, they have portrayed the everyday culture of Japan in their works or turned the mythic locations of film into a subject of photography. With their works – which illustrate to what a tremendous extent the ‚poor media‘ of popular culture shape our imaginations – they have turned the Museum für Photographie into ‚their house’, as the exhibition’s title indicates. Not least of all, they reveal the many faces and the ever migrating image forms and presentation methods of photography as a medium. Florian Ebner