Annette KELM

At Media City Seoul 2010

Prefabricated Copper Houses Haifa, Israel, 1933-1935 (2009)

C-print, framed, nine parts

Seoul Museum of Art, 3rd floor promenade

Artist Profile

Born 1975; Lives and works in Berlin

Annette Kelm’s photos mimic the modes of representation employed by advertisements, fashion magazines, and documentary photographs, displacing their subjects as if cut from reality and revealing the objects’ intense visual clarity in her distinctive style and formal aesthetic. She synthesizes historical and cultural contexts into a comprehensive meaning in her work, taking a poetic and romantic yet conceptual approach to photography.

Prefabricated Copper Houses Haifa, Israel, 1933–1935 is a continuation of her earlier series featuring prefabricated buildings in Germany. Composed of nine photographs, this series documents the houses that were transported from Germany to Palestine with the emigration of German Jews and the export of German goods to Palestine facilitated by the 1933 Haavara Agreement. The agreement, which was signed by the German Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, was a scheme by which the Nazi government planned to resolve its financial difficulties and effectively control the country’s Jewish population. In this work, Kelm metaphorically addresses the political and economic ironies of this period through photographs of these prefabricated houses. The quality of analog photography, maximized by Kelm’s use of large-format camera, captures subtle details and lends her images the precise execution needed to convey the weight of the artist’s intention.

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