Press / Texts / Reviews

Bärenmädchen | Bear Girls EN

Bear Girls | Bärenmädchen

Ute Behrend in conversation with Barbara Hofmann-Johnson

Ute Behrend uses the medium of photography to sound out peculiar narrative worlds, with a subtle sense for poetic and formal relationships that is both atmospheric and aesthetic. Following a visual concept, in which two images from different realities, and in some cases staged scenes, are paired narratively with one another, she creates allusions to themes such as portrait and nature, or implies, on a small scale, cultural references. In her current series Bear Girls, which is presented in this publication, the Cologne-based artist tackles the topic of female adolescence in her own unique associative way. As an alternative to the stereotypes of sexualised identification shaped by society and the media, Ute Behrend’s Bear Girls inhabit an archetypal natural environment and safe space, which isolates them, making them appear poetically timeless when compared to common patterns of socialisation. She describes her new work group in conversation.

Read more …

Christoph Ribbat One is the loneliest number

Christoph Ribbat
One is the loneliest number

»In photography«, says Jeff Wall, »the unattributed, anonymous, poetry of the world itself appears, probably for the first time«. Its beauty »is rooted in the great collage which everyday life is, a combination of absolutely concrete and specific things created by no-one and everyone, all of which become available once it is unified into a picture«.1

Read more …

… nothing but the first stirrings of terror / Dr. Kerstin Stremmel

… nothing but the first stirrings of terror

Dr. Kerstin Stremmel
Zimmerpflanzen by Ute Behrend

The title of Ute Behrend’s group of works and her book of the same name
suggests an instruction­al guide on how to conduct the careful greening of life, a sort of compendium of luxurious blooms. Houseplants can indeed be viewed along sociological lines, even if the era of the orangery is over; garden­ing books no less speak of the burgeoning interest during the 80s and 90s in the greenification of interior spaces in view of the increasing devastation of the environ­ment. A mass taking-flight is implied, possibly. It rarely seems to be successful though, the undertones are sceptical, a fiddle-leaf fig seems as equally aggress­ive as the rottweiler in the adjacent picture, the treat­ment of plants is not always loving, but tells the tale of neglect (dried-up palm) or of inveterate blunders in matters of taste (chrysanthemums): these plants in­cluding their little plastic pots have been immersed in hydro cultures to such an extent that they appear to be drowning.

Read more …

Dr. Barbara Engelbach / Ute Behrend – Märchen EN

Dr. Barbara Engelbach
Ute Behrend – Märchen

Exhibition on the occasion of the Toyota-Fotokunstpreises / Toyota-Photography-Art-Award 2004

Fairytales are more than children’s stories... They display fundamental truths and wisdom. If there is a collective unconscious then fairytales are surely firmly anchored within it, and whoever is prepared to get involved in them can find them everywhere, knowing fully well that all will always end well.

Read more …