Herlinde Koelbl (DE)


Refugees
2016
video, 7 min 58 s

Targets
2015
video, 7 min

Italy – Catania
photo from the Refugees series
2016
150 x 220 cm

Bed in a fighting facility house of the Federal Army in Germany
photo from the Targets series
2014
120 x 120 cm

Soldiers in Ukraine practicing kidnappers arrest with extras
photo from the Targets series
2014
90 x 140 cm

Simulation facility in South Korea
photo from the Targets series
2014
90 x 140 cm

What military shooting targets look like around the world
photo from the Targets series
2014
80 x 120 cm

Military training facility in the United Arab Emirates
photo from the Targets series
2014
80 x 120 cm

Herlinde Koelbl is one of the most prominent political photographers in Germany. Her photos addressing burning issues of the time have made her known worldwide; recently, for example, the refugee dramas in the Middle East and the Mediterranean; or her portraits of well-known politicians, in whose faces she has for decades documented the Traces of Power. They are always engaged and thoughtful confrontations with political and social issues, where Koelbl combines a journalistic documentary approach with high artistic standards in a way uniquely her own.
The project Targets is a particularly impressive example of this: for six years Herlinde Koelbl travelled around the world, and in a total of thirty countries made photographs of the military targets used in the training of soldiers. These are – if you will – icons, with which the various armies of the world learn the craft of war.
What does the enemy look like? Does he have a face? Koelbl shows the images of enemies that are used to systematically practice aiming, shooting, hitting, and, ultimately, killing. Her photos show shredded human silhouettes made of cardboard, plastic dolls riddled with holes or metal figures shot to pieces in a field. Whether in China, Russia, North Iraq or Switzerland: the targets always stand for the respective adversary. The images are accompanied by portraits of soldiers, video and sound installations, and interview quotes.

“Mostly large-scale thematic projects, often dealing with societal taboos. Since the end of the 1980`s one of Germany’s most widely discussed photographers.”
Lexicon of Photographers 1900 – today, Munich 2002

“With each new work, Herlinde Koelbl writes a chronicle of the age, similar to the novelists of the past, like a Zola or a Balzac, using merely a different medium.”
Harald Martenstein, Der Tagesspiegel, 9 August 2001

 

Herlinde Koelbl (1939 Lindau, Bodensee, Germany) is a German photographer and documentary filmmaker. She lives and works in Neuried near Munich.

http://www.herlindekoelbl.com






EU KULTURA

Project RISK CHANGE (2016–2020) is co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.
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