Jochen Lempert in French Pavilion

After being exhibited in numerous museums and galleries across the world – from Chicago, over Madrid and Berlin, to Osaka – the work of a renowned German artist Jochen Lempert will be on view for the audience in Zagreb. The opening of the solo exhibition featuring this author, the current holder of the prestigious Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography, will be held in the French Pavilion at Zagreb Student Centre, on Saturday, September 1 at 7 pm. The exhibition titled Botanical Box is co-organized by the Office for Photography and the Croatian Photographic Union, and curated by Sandra Križić Roban (Zagreb) and Maren Lübbke-Tidow (Berlin). In Zagreb, the artist will present a part of his distinctive oeuvre dominated by photographs with an exceptionally refined aesthetic and nature motifs. Educated as a biologist, Lempert began making art photography in the early 1990s, featuring animals, plants and natural phenomena, and which displays a unique blend of poetic sensibility and research curiosity.


Jochen Lempert: Untitled (Doubled Iris), 2016 (detail) / courtesy: BQ, Berlin and ProjecteSD, Barcelona


As Maren Lübbke-Tidow writes: “Lempert’s images and image constellations tell of the emanations of living systems from the point of view of natural history, of their orders and their autopoiesis. (…) His photographs of human, animal, plant, and micro-organic forms of life, which only apparently border on scientific photography, reveal a poetic profundity that originates in his self-understanding as a visual artist – and his experimental approach. In this way, his work is also permeated by a high degree of autonomy: although relying on a sort of ‘analytical view’, it need not be necessarily subordinated to a higher order by which ‘results’ are shown. The joy of opening up different contexts of perception – or the awareness that this is possible – is simply too overwhelming”.

The author displays the black and white photographs, created entirely with analogue techniques, within exhibition spaces in peculiar ways. “(…) Jochen Lempert has been changing his context in different exhibition layouts or book pages. His perception is that of a scientist, surely due to the fact that he is a trained biologist. His observations focus on morphology, but the relations that he ‘builds’ inside his boxes are neither stable nor final. (…) Lempert’s visual discourse helps us recognize nature in its occasionally peculiar forms, or in places where we may not seek or expect it“, as Sandra Križić Roban points it out in the accompanying text.

The exhibition Botanical Box will be on view until Wednesday, September 19, and open to visitors on weekdays and Saturdays from 12pm to 8pm.

Jochen Lempert (b. 1958 in Moers) lives and works in Hamburg. From 1980-1988, he studied biology at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn. In the early 1990s, he was member of the artists’ group Schmelzdahin. His artworks have been presented at a number of international group and solo exhibitions and he has published a number of artist books. In 2017, Jochen Lempert was awarded with the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz.

The exhibition was realised in cooperation between the Office for Photography, Croatian Photographic Union and the Culture of Change –Student Centre Zagreb, while its execution was made possible by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City of Zagreb, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen Stuttgart and Goethe-Institut Kroatien.


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