Her first major personal show in an art museum also fulfils an important wish for Nemes. After she moved to Berlin from Aachen in 2001, she first visited the Berlinische Galerie in 2004 – and she knew at once: “I want to exhibit here”.
Initially Loredana Nemes studied mathematics and German. Then in Berlin she opted for a radical new departure: a career as an independent photographer. Cartier-Bresson, Friedlander, Sugimoto and Frauke Eigen were important inspirations for the autodidact. By now there have been numerous gallery exhibitions and publications on Nemes, whose works are already found in a variety of collections: the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Deutsches Historisches Museum, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, the DZ Bank Kunstsammlung in Frankfurt and the Cleveland Clinic Art Collection.
On display from 21 June 2018 are six photocycles from the last ten years of Nemes’s output. Three were only finished recently, and these will premiere at the Berlinische Galerie: beyond (2008-10, male Turkish and Arab domains in Berlin), Blossom Time (2012, portrait experiment with young people), The Presentation (2014, Carnival, masks, models) – and the premieres: Greed (2014–17, tangled flying bodies), 23197 (2017–18, permutations of fear), Ocna: Closer Scrutiny (2017–18, morbidly sensual body fragments).
The exhibition contains about 120 photographic and lyrical works. It centres on human portraits, the poetry and surrealism of everyday life. Loredana Nemes has focussed for a long time on social themes like identity and personality, which are highly political today. Drawing on the techniques of colour and black-and-white photography, focus and and abstraction, her pictures often reflect her viewers’ insecurities, lack of knowledge and fears.
Nemes’s advantage and driving force is her experience of three different cultural backgrounds: Romania, her country of birth, Iran, where she spent a period of her childhood, and Germany. Every new beginning in life intensifies our sensitivity, openness and curiosity. Wherever her artistic work appears, it leaves traces.
“Like an encounter, photography contains magical, indescribable, unique elements. What is certain is our visual memory, which feeds into so many things. Both in creation and in contemplation, we draw on this pool of images, sorting, varying and, if possible, making something new. But how that happens is best left unsaid, because words cannot do justice to this seeking and finding on so many levels.” (Loredana Nemes)