Curated by Gabriele Conrath-Scholl and Claudia Schubert, the exhibition presents over 170 photographs by Christian Borchart, August Sander, and Cindy Sherman, among others.
On view are 18 photographic series from the last one hundred years. The exhibition focuses on the portrait, since the face is traditionally seen as a mirror of the soul, as a connection between body and mind. But it is also the part of the body that shows the traces of life unveiled.
The earliest images in the exhibition are by August Sander, the chronicler of his time, who in the early 20th century portrayed representatives of almost all walks of life. His numerous pictures of elderly people show what it meant to be old at that time. At the same time, the photographs refer to biographies in an era that already belonged to the past during Sander's lifetime. From 2007 comes a self-portrait by Cindy Sherman, who always slips into foreign roles in her works, questioning gender roles and identities. In the exhibited work, she presents herself as an aging lady of the upper class. With pearl necklaces, large earrings and heavily made up, she portrays a woman who is trying to escape old age with great effort, but ultimately in vain. John Coplans already had a long career as a painter behind him when he began taking photographs in his mid-60s. As a subject, he chose without exception his own aging body, which he shows relentlessly in large-format detail shots. In his black-and-white photographs, the wrinkles and furrows become maps of a life lived; at the same time, his images radiate intimacy and vulnerability. Christian Borchert shows the aging process not at the end, but in the middle of life and in the context of drastic life-changing events. In the mid-1980s, he portrayed families in the GDR.
Ten years later, Borchert visited those photographed again - this time after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Not only had contemporary tastes obviously changed considerably in the meantime, but professions, partners and places of residence had also changed. For some of the families, the fall of the Berlin Wall was a catapult into a new life, while others hardly changed at all.
These four positions exemplify the range of engagement with age and aging offered in the exhibition.
Artists participating in the exhibition: Christian Borchert, John Coplans, Imogen Cunningham, Deanna Dikeman, Jess T. Dugan, Albrecht Fuchs, Katja Kerstin Hock, Manfred Jade, Evi Lemberger / Maria Göckeritz, Andreas Mader, Helga Paris, Natalya Resnik, Martin Rosswog, August Sander, Cindy Sherman, Daniel Schumann, Wilhelm Schürmann and Larry Sultan.