Rockaway Beach (Photography)
3 November – 22 December 2017
“Rockaway Beach” – destroyed coast
GALERIE BORN premieres works of the photographer Sigrid Rothe after the hurricane “Sandy” in 2012. Destroyed house facades, broken blinds, ripped off promenades – they are disturbing pictures, which Sigrid Rothe shows now for the first time at GALERIE BORN, Berlin.
These are photographs taken in New York immediately after hurricane “Sandy” 2012. At that time Rothe lived in the city and experienced the full impact of the storm. “Everything was under water, cars were floating on my street,” she recollects. The power went out, a state of emergency prevailed.
When “Sandy” had disappeared, she headed off with her camera for Rockaway Beach, a well-known tourist destination and district of New York. On the beach, where surfers and wave riders typically go, she encountered absolute destruction. The pedestrian promenade had been washed away entirely, beach houses wrecked.
She documented the destruction with her camera. The series of pictures that resulted is not a documentation of the storm damage, however. Rothe is interested in structures: in the drawing of the cracks, sunken facades, grotesquely washed out gullies. She does not aestheticize the destruction, but condenses the chaos found, which concentrates on a small section that allows one to sense the extent of the destruction. The strong magnification of the details in turn makes cracks and breaks look like drawings. “There is a certain melancholy and lostness,” says the photographer. The destruction has created a new form of order and aesthetics.
Rothe thus adds a whole new facet to her principle of “photographic painting”. In recent years she has developed the technique in numerous pictures of greatly enlarged or even estranged flowers and leaves. “The flowers were my canvas”, she says. While in the flower pictures she worked with dissolving forms and intense color fields, the new works are characterized by an unusual abruptness. These pictures live from strong, almost graphic contours and contrasts. In the series “Rockaway Beach” she refrains from any kind of artistic modification.
Sigrid Rothe was born in Hamburg.
After studying at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, she initially devoted herself to fashion photography and advertising. At the same time, she frequently made portraits of Annie Leibowitz, Martin Kippenberger, Paul Auster, Marina Abramovic and others.
Rothe’s works have been shown in numerous galleries around the world.
In the 2000s she had several teaching positions and gave various workshops at art schools in America and Germany.
Rothe lived in New York for 30 years, but also undertook extensive travel, e.g. to China, Israel and Japan. In Nepal she created her photo series “Tihar”.
Since 2016 she lives and works in Berlin.
Rockaway Beach, 2017
10.– € ► order
21 x 29.7 cm, 16 pages
© 2017 Sigrid Rothe & Galerie Born