Solo Exhibition / Installation / Festival
»Emser Köpfe – Faces of a Street«
Opening: Friday, June 24, 2016, 19h (Facebook Event)
@ Café Lois Lane, Emser Straße 41, Berlin Neukölln
Meet the team & hear stories from Emser Straße: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 14-18h
@ Bar “Zum Steckenpferd”, Emser Straße 8, Berlin Neukölln
Exhibition: during the 48h Neukölln Festival, June 24 – 26, 2016
Opening hours: 24/7
Emser Street in Berlin Neukölln will be turned into a show room by Berlin photographer Jenny Fitz at ‘48h Neukölln 2016’. For 3 days, more than 50 large-format-portraits of “Emser Köpfe” will be shown in the street windows of residents and shops.
Emser Street, located in Berlin’s northern Neukölln, has gained press attention through headlines about issues such as gun fights, rising rents, or recently a shopkeeper’s refusal to accept Roma as customers.
However, it is the major socio-economic and cultural diversity that is typical for this street with its estimated 4,000 residents in 140 houses. While this diversity enriches living together, it is also often a source of tension and conflict. But who are the people who live and work together in this place?
Artist Jenny Fitz, who herself lives in Emser Street since 2010, has photographed some of them. The individual portraits are created in a decelerated manner – analogue, in black and white and with a medium format camera – to provide the necessary space for a personal encounter. In this way of working, the pavement in front of a neighbour’s house becomes the photo studio. Individuals replace the anonymity of the city and give the street a face.
Over a period of four months, intense portraits have emerged in the street – and that is where they are now shown on the weekend of the ‘48h Neukölln’ Arts Festival. Numerous ‘photo hosts’ on Emser Street have agreed to accommodate the large-scale portrait of a neighbour for this time and thus turn their windows into picture frames. Residents are involved in the artistic process, the street with the faces turns into a public exhibition space.
It’s about time to have a look at THIS Emser street!
Conclusion: After days of streetwalking, 150 hours in the darkroom and countless neighbourhood conversations, the photographer and her team, (grown in the meanwhile) are impressed by the support and resonance of the residents. A continuation of the “Emser Köpfe” is in the making.
About the photographer
The German photographer Jenny Fitz (* 1976) studied at the Neue Schule für Fotografie Berlin. In her work she questions the habitus and role-play of people from her social environment. In 2013, she finished her work “Kammerspiel“, a 4-year-longtime portrait of a young actor. In the centre of her artistic work is the social portrait. Fitz lives and works in Berlin, and at times in New Zealand.