Candida Hofer

Article excerpt

Exhibition spaces in museums and private collections were the subjects of the photographs in this recent show--but always without artworks, having been photographed immediately before the installation or afterward, when the works had already been taken down. "Candida Hofer/Kuehn Malvezzi," as the show was titled, established a relationship between the analytical eye of the Cologne photographer and the equally rigorous practice of the Berlin-based architectural firm. In Hofer's photographs, space is an absolute protagonist, its dimensions analyzed in each shot, defined within the geometric structure, articulated by variations in light, and described in its constituent details. There is a sort of identification of photographic representation with spatial reality, as if the photographer were recognizing herself in the language of the architecture--or vice versa, since if it is true that Hofer's images interpret the spaces designed by Kuehn Malvezzi, the architects in turn redesigned the space of the Church of Santa Maria della Neve, in which Galleria Marabini is housed, to accommodate the nine works by Hofer. The result is a sort of conceptual loop that concluded with the photographs (not in the show) that the German artist subsequently made of her own exhibition.

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The layout of the installation was meticulous, the distribution of the works clinical. The gallery's white, modular exhibition panels, normally placed against the walls--since the church is under protection as a cultural monument--were grouped in the center of the space to form a volume that proposed a summarized version of the plan of the church, made up of nave and apses. …