ZAMEK Culture Centre

DETAIL by Heidi Specker


Heidi Specker DETAIL 
28.01. ‒ 12.03.2017

curator: Agata Toromanoff

Each of the exhibitions in the series offers a pretext for a lesson in attentive looking, where the photographers concentrate on the simplicity of details, elusive moments or carefully selected elements. This visual intensification, also achieved thanks to fragmentary framing, encourages one to take a truly in-depth look, but also inspires being “here and now”, quietude and unhurried. Each exhibition aims to refresh and develop conscious perception, ultimately to achieve much the same with thinking patterns. The intention to make the inquisitive and penetrating eye of the viewer an instrument with which we can not only comprehend the world around us but also ourselves.

The ability of looking at things is particularly crucial today, as we are consumed by the deluge of countless images flowing at an unprecedented rate from the media. Overwhelmed by the excess, we have lost the capacity for effective use of our sense of sight, which after all is the “primary thinking tool” (Arnheim). Visual perception as visual thinking requires us to engage in a creative training of the eye, because looking is a never-ending process. We continue to learn how to do it and rediscover it anew.

Sascha Weidner

Natalia Pakuła

Lauren Marsolier

Rinko Kawauchi

Jessica Backhaus

Heidi Specker


Heidi Specker (born 1962) lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the University of  Applied Sciences in Bielefeld and the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig, where she became a professor in 2011 and where she teaches photography. Specker is one of the first photographers of her generation to tap into the potential of digital photography. Representations of urban space and architecture became one of the foremost motifs inspiring Specker’s works. 

In all these series, Heidi Specker explores the surrounding reality by focusing on detail. Be it urban landscape or the space of an interior, the observant gaze of the photographer manages to contain the visual excess and chooses meticulously selected fragments. Their singular framing is not limited to the celebration of the detail. Juxtapositions of contrasting structures, materials or surfaces, which stimulate and intrigue the eye even more, play an important role in her work.  

“DETAIL” presents three series by Heidi Specker; the first, entitled “Im Garten”, was created in 2003‒2004 (Room 117) and juxtaposes elements of nature and architecture, transforming them into virtually abstract patterns. The 2005 “Bangkok” (pf Photography Gallery) is a discovery of a metropolis through recording of its minutest detail. The mosaic of diverse and fragmentarily captured motifs yields an intriguing picture of the city. The last series, “Via Napione 2” from 2010 (Room 102) is the result of the artist’s visit in the apartment of the architect, designer and photographer Carlo Mollino. Specker investigates Mollino’s extravagant personality, drawing viewer’s attention to selected objects and features of the interior.




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