Matthias Hoch - Hotel Kobenzl
In the FOTOHOF archive: Christian Wachter - EUROPE
Opens at 28 July, 7:30 pm
Exhibition run: 29 July - 24 September 2016
© 2016 Matthias Hoch/ VG Bild-Kunst Bonn
The Hotel Kobenzl in Salzburg, located in the hills above the city, is a well-known former luxury hotel. When photographer Matthias Hoch paid a visit there in January of 2014 the premises had already stood vacant for eight years. The rooms are still in good condition, almost untouched and well-preserved. It's like a journey back in time. The splendor of the former five-star hotel now has something one might affectionately call patina.
A surprising twist comes in early 2015: the state and federal governments are desperately seeking space for refugees. It becomes a first-admission facility for refugees. Matthias Hoch has a keen interest in the history of the hotel, the traces of its use, and the question of what was considered luxurious back then. Through the inclusion of archival material, the examination of the hotel takes on a new dimension; the Kobenzl Saga comes to life.
Sampling and seeing and understanding the world is a major concern in Matthias Hoch's photographic work. And the history of Salzburg's Hotel Kobenzl serves as a prime example of the transformation our society is currently undergoing. .
Matthias Hoch, born in Radebeul, Germany, in 1958; visual artist and photographer; lives and works in Leipzig. www.matthiashoch.com
In the FOTOHOF archive:
EUROPE. rêvée, revue, revisited
In 1992, right after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the promulgation of the rules and regulations for the new political union, Austrian fine art photographer Christian Wachter set off in search of the ideas and ideals on which this new Europe would be built. He was influenced in his quest by central European thinkers such as Jacques Rancière, Ferdinand de Saussure and Walter Benjamin.
In the urban layouts and architecture of Parisian squares (but also in Vienna and Italy) he found 'signs' (which according to de Saussure not only re-produce reality, but also actively produce it) for that which has been and that which will come, 'as if looking at the present and the near future from the distant past'.
This series, which Christian Wachter rediscovered, as it were, in his own archive in 2013, features twelve chapters comprising large baryta-coated analogue prints. They have been expanded with historical typefaces to 'achieve a formal anachronism and a structural "dissensus" (Jacques Rancière) in the relationships between the images and the captions'.
It is 'by no means an encyclopaedic-documentary-systematic-topographical description of "Europe". Rather, an idiosyncratic, not to say "heretic", historiography, European IMAGI-NATIONS, as it were'.
Christian Wachter, born in Oberwart, Austria, in 1949, lives and works in Vienna.