Walter Niedermayr

Walter Niedermayr
10.5.
22.6.2003
Kunstverein Hannover

Walter Niedermayr (born 1952 in Bolzano, South Tirol), is among the most important photographers of his generation. He achieved international recognition with his first large cycle, “Die Bleichen Berge” (The Pale Mountains), which was bestowed with the “European Photography Award” in 1995.

For the exhibition in Hanover, Niedermayr has selected a convolute of 29 large-format multiple-part works taken from all of his import pictorial cycles, including, for the first time, a new video projection.

The photographic reflection of time and place is at the core of Niedermayr's oeuvre. By photographing his motifes from various angels and then putting them together to form tableaus, the portrayed spaces appear fragmentary and placeless. The protagonists in Niedemayr's fries-like work “Titlis“ (1999) seem to float like clouds. Following a choreography as it were, they repeat their motions and lose themselves in various constellations, appearing on the luminous white ground like brushstrokes on a canvas. The fragmentation and the white ground created by underexposure emphasize the fact that Niedermayr's work is also an examination of a specific photographic view and the mechanics of its production.

Starting with motifs from his birthplace such as „alpine landscapes“,Niedermayr slowly and carefully expanded his own repertoire. On the one hand, he focuses on the architecture of the city and the street in the “Artefakte (Artifacts)” series, and examines interior spaces in the cycles „Rohbauten (Shell Constructions)“ and „Raumfolgen (Space Con/Sequences)“ devoted to the shells of houses and alignments of rooms on the other: They depict the interiors of unfinished buildings as well as of prisons and hospitals. The contents of these images reflect Niedermayr's thoughts concerning presence and absence, the cycle of life and the passage of time, and make reference to a cyclical quality that is also taken up in his most recent video projects.

An aspect that is common in all of Niedermayr's works is that he does not use his art to formulate one-sided critical views of civilization, but rather to propagate basic reflections on an uniformed aesthetic stemming from a comprehensive deciphering of the world. Formerly exalted places become for Niedermayr“ a topography, where society exemplarily manifests itself in the various versions of our consumer world. In addition, these places say much about our desires and projections concerning our lives, our deeds in this world and its state of being”.