Thinking about objects is very much part of Christoph Westermeier’s research as a photographer. He calls himself a flaneur. He is on the move with his camera, walking the city and recording surprising sights, and in between he reads, most recently works by Siegfried Kracauer, a fellow flaneur who had to leave Berlin when the Nazis took over. Kracauer’s Straßen in Berlin und anderswo delivered Christoph the title for his current piece: Passagenmajestät (2018). He collects images and then makes a selection, like for this exhibition. He wants the work to be about objects and their ambiguous visibility, which is one reason why he chooses to present the photos hanging from the ceiling, half hidden in metal constructions which have hole patterns cut out of them. The photos want attention, but they are not entirely accessible for a visitor who wants to see the work from the front.

The photos are taken up close to the motif: a car, the shell of a turtle, a stone relief from Roman times. Through the close-up view, we see a way of looking. Objects have a skin, cars have eyes, and things have human qualities, but humans themselves are absent—or, one should say, humans are implicit in the objects. The closest we get to the human figure is the photo of a Roman relief showing a face in stone, taken at the Landesmuseum in Trier. “How could we imagine things from the object’s perspective, rather than from ours?” Christoph reflects while we meet at the KIT, and he moves around a small glass vase with a flower in it. The question is: Is this possible? Can we imagine and see things without our own bias and perspective included? The artist’s contribution could be seen as an attempt to show object-ness, not to be confused with objectivity.

Jurriaan Benschop

Yeşim Akdeniz, François Dey, Jen Liu, Kubilay Mert Ural, Ceel Mogami de Haas, Christoph Westermeier, Müge Yilmaz, 03.03. – 03.06.2018, KIT Düsseldorf

Variable Maße, verzinkte Lochblechplatten, PVC-Prints, Hanfseil, 2018, documentation: Ivo Faber