Brussels, Friederike von Rauch
Fifty One Fine Art Photography proudly presents ‘Brussels’ an exhibition of the German photographer Friederike von Rauch. ‘Brussels’ shows a series of photographs of the European capital as she experienced the city during a three-month stay.

Friederike von Rauch photographs buildings. A complete building or merely a detail. The building on its own, or within its surroundings. The interior or the exterior. Her photographs are meticulously stylized. The framing and the angle are chosen with care. There is also a clear play of lines and sometimes a striking contrast between the concrete-grey planes and vibrant color.

To many her photographs seem to belong in the tradition of the work of the famous German couple Bernd and Hilla Becher. As they photographed industrial architecture from the start of their career in 1957

According to Friederike von Rauch there is no comparison between her work and that of the Bechers’. They registered and archived an industrial area that decayed right in front of them. Friederike is not concerned with that documentary value. She describes herself as an intuitive photographer. Her work is not so much about buildings. It’s about spaces. She looks for spots that to her are exceptional, but that most people walk by without even a glance.

In her photographs the silence is the first thing that strikes you. The silence, however, does not equal quiet. There is a tension to the silence. This tension grows from the absence of people; despite the unbreakable link between buildings and human beings. Buildings are made by people and are used by them. The lack of a human presence deprives the buildings of their functionality. The buildings in her photographs are no longer buildings, but monumental sculptures.

As a photographer von Rauch is clearly attracted to spaces. These spaces have to be empty, because that is when, to her, their beauty is best appreciated. Friederike however does not intervene in the environment; everything has to stay exactly as it is. So she never asks people to leave the space when she wants to photograph. That is why there is still a human presence in her work. The spaces have been abandoned, but there is always the possibility that someone might show up. This uncertainty makes these photographs so alien and so exciting at the same time.


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