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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
Roland Behrmann
I
n a world in which most photographers make many copies of each image,
Roland Behrmann
and his work are unusual.
Limiting nearly all of his photographs to an “edition” of one single image, Behrmann gives each of his works a weight and
singularity that make a powerful play for the viewer’s attention. That power has its roots in the photographer’s sure, steady
eye and his ability to tease a whole rainbow of shades and tones from black-and-white film. The greys have the kind of
softness often found in historical photographs, while the blacks are exceptionally deep.
Behrmann incorporates his rich vocabulary into elegant compositions that balance a complex, many-faceted built world
with the quiet aura of abandoned spaces. “I don’t show spectacular or provocative objects in my photographs,” he says. “The
displayed objects should be seen as symbols standing for events, conflicts and forms of existence.” This approach results in
photographs with an elusive, mysterious sense of drama that goes far beyond the scenes being depicted. The photographer
has a strong ability to elicit the echoes of past wars and violence in his contemporary scenes, letting his stance as a restrained,
objective observer reveal the stories and historical resonances that lie within his subjects.
And even though most of the scenes he photographs are, at most, scantly populated, humanity is central to Behrmann’s
project. “My theme is man,” he says. “Even if you can’t see man in my pictures, he’s still there. His presence is shown by
absence.” And whether he is showing us tombstones in an old graveyard or a modern building in which people pass by
oblivious to the camera, what he excels at is capturing the traces that we leave behind us.
Having grown up in the German Democratic Republic, Roland Behrmann now lives and works in Mannheim.
Roland in his Studio
Schutzraum Und Falle Photograph Silver Gelatin Print 10” x 15”
Abgestellt - Im Schatten der Geschichte
Photograph Silver Gelatin Print 10” x 15”
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