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Some Boarded up Houses, Chicago

Some Boarded up Houses, Chicago, 2013 - Joachim Koester


about this work

In his eponymous series Some Boarded up Houses (2009-present), Joachim Koester brings together Walker Evans, the emblematic photographer of the Great Depression, and Bernd und Hilla Becher, the masters of objective photography. Formally, the series borrows its language from the Bechers' famous "typologies": frontal treatment of the architectural element, taken from a high view point with the neutral light of an open sky, no human presence, etc. However, contrary to the Bechers and in line with Walker Evans' approach, the houses photographed by Koester are psychologically charged, haunted by the subprime crisis that saw millions of people lose their home.

Some Boarded up Houses (Chicago) was published on the occasion of his solo show The Place of Dead Roads at Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva in 2013 and echoes the exhibition itself with its wooden maze and atmosphere; described by Koester as “a prohibited space where ghosts can meet and where chance encounters are not excluded”.

about Joachim Koester

°1962, Copenhagen (DK) - lives and works in Copenhagen (DK) and New York (US)

The artistic practice of Koester is based upon a complex web of docu-fiction, wherein personal, historical and journalistic issues melt with fictive narrations. In his video work, Koester uses strategies of montage, archiving and storytelling to illuminate historical events. Recently he has traced invisible and forgotten histories of transgression, based upon the legacy and remnants of occult movements and psychedelic experiments. Joachim Koester's work goes beyond the broad field of a conceptual, documentary and narrative approach. By seeking to decode the signs of a repressed history, the artist acts as an explorer of the invisible, an observer of a reality inhabited by ghosts.

He has had solo exhibitions including Camera Austria, Graz; Centre d’art Contemporain, Geneva; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; S.M.A.K., Ghent; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; and Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City.
His work was also featured in numerous group exhibitions in international institutions, including Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kunstverein, Hamburg; MCA, Chicago; and Louisiana Museum, Humblebaek. Koester also participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale in 2010; the Biennale of Venice in 2005; and Documenta X in 1997, Kassel.

Among others, his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. In 2013, he was the winner of the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography, Coty of Graz, Austria.

Joachim Koester is represented by the following galleries;
click through to discover more of his work.

Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen

Jan Mot, Brussels / Mexico City

Greene Naftali, New York

Learn more about this artist