Obscure World exhibition. (Obscurewelten Bende 100)

by Christoper Osborne.

Photographer and artist Wanja Hohmeier talks about the latest installation for work made with his colleage Rupert Kraft and Franka Schimankowitz „Obscurewelten Bende 100” (Obscure World Exhibition) will show at the Hamburg Planetarium this week…

The art of the pinhole photography comes to the Star Theater. Multimedia artist Wanja Hohmeier talks about his latest installation „Blende 100“, which can be seen this week (25.05.22) at the Hamburg Planetarium.

In 2007, Wanja Hohmeier and Rupert Kraft met while working on a film project. At the invitation of Rupert Kraft, they visited the exhibition of the group “Wilhelmsburg Obscur”. Wanja left the exhibition with a pinhole camera that Rupert had given him. The camera consisted of a cookie jar with a sheet of film inside, and this was the beginning of his journey to creating pinhole images.

“The basic idea for Obscurewelten was born in 2008 on a photo tour with Rupert. Images were captured by exposure on negative material to open an unusual view and give new meaning to the motifs found”, explains Wanja Hohmeier. Pinhole camera images of this kind open up a discourse on the changeability, appropriation and discontinuous appearance of places. Our artistic experiments relate to photographic perception“,says Rupert.  “This work is reminiscent of school projects and photo designer Franka Schimankowitz  was also inspired by the simple, lens-less technique of tin cans converted into a camera obscura joined the Obscurewelten project in 2014”.

The Blende 100 show is a milestone of their collaboration  and combines the possibilities of 360° visualization with the pinhole photography. The idea was born during a conversation with Thomas Kraupe, director of the Hamburg Planetarium in 2015. While showing him one of the little picture books, he asks “is it possible to transform analogue images into a dome projection”?

“A few months later, the Obscurewelten team had built their first 360-degree pinhole camera and Franka and I started with the planning, organization and implementation of “Blende 100“, Wanja explained. He shows the camera, which looks like an early prototype for a satellite program.

“Obscurewelten revisits the genesis of photochemical recording processes and at the visionaries whose inventions paved the way for millions of contemporary photographs. Blende 100 is a journey based on 1200 paper negatives processed in the lab. All single images are monochrome and thgese have been transformed  to 360° camera obscura images. Obscurewelten is an exciting road trip of pure and rudimentary lensless photography. Natural places are contrasted with deserted architectural works, and this opens up unusual and surprising perspectives on art and our world. The images are accompanied by  poetry and music”.

This is a single night show and will run on Wednesday 25th May and start at 19:00.

Yoo can learn more about “Obscure World (Obscurewelten Bende 100) at https://obscurewelten.com/blende-100

You can book to see “Obscurewelten Bende 100” at https://planetarium-hamburg.de/de/veranstaltungen-tickets/details/obscurewelten-blende-100

Images © Franka Schimankowitz and Wanja Hohmeier 2022.

You might also be interested in this article on Franch Box camera manufacturer Sébastien Bergeron. https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/01/friday-focus-sebastien-bergeron-street-box-camera-manufacturer/

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