About

After finishing high school, I worked as a freelance photographer for press and photo agencies. At the same time, I studied economic sciences in Frankfurt am Main. After having completed my doctorate and fifteen years in business, I turned to photographic art and studied Fine Art Photography at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Madrid under, among others, Elger Esser, Joan Fontcuberta, and Martin Parr. Since then I work internationally on my different personal projects.

Statement

I am particularly interested in man-made things and human interventions in the landscape and its surroundings. Therefore, the built environment always plays an important role in my work. My focus is not on the spectacular, but on the everyday, which is often overlooked in its banality, even though it is so characteristic. I usually deal with public places and urban or suburban spaces in which people live, work or spend their free time. What they look like is the result of collective and individual decisions. People shape their environment, but at the same time, they are also shaped by it. By taking a close look at the built environment, the urban structures, the architecture and its relationship to nature, one can get a lot of information about people and societies, even without showing people. For me, photography is the perfect tool to make this information visible. Although documentation is not one of my main concerns, I don't stage my pictures. I work with what I have found. The reason is that images that are not staged are rooted in the reality that the photographer was part of. For me, the challenge is to use my perception of reality to create images that go beyond it. My work is often about structures and constellations of things or people in space. For me, objects or motifs are always material for the composition of my pictures. It is important to me that my photographs function as images, i.e. that they appeal to the viewer in some way, even if they are detached from concept, content, and context. My aim is not to achieve a clearly defined reaction from the viewer, to push him in a particular direction. I want to leave room for imagination and interpretation.

Education

  • 2010 - 2012 | “Fine Art Photography” (Master’s Degree), Istituto Europeo di Design, IED Madrid (ES)
  • 1998 | Promotion zum Dr. rer. pol., Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (DE)
  • 1984 - 1990 | „Wirtschaftswissenschaften“, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (DE)

Selected Awards

  • 2019 | Nominee, “Felix Schoeller Photo Award” (DE)
  • 2018 | Shortlisted, “Vonovia Award für Fotografie” (DE)
  • 2018 | “Finalist Photo Book”, Singapore International Photo Festival (SG)
  • 2018 | Finalist, „Lucie Photo Book Prize“ (US)
  • 2018 | “PDN – The Eighth annual Exposure Photography Award” (US)
  • 2011 | Auszeichnung, „Europäischer Architekturfotografie-Preis“ (DE)

Selected Exhibitions/Publications

  • Ausstellungen / Exhibitions:
  • 2019 | Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück (DE)
  • 2019 | The 3rd China Lianoning International Industrial Photography Festival (CN)
  • 2019 | Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum (DE)
  • 2018 | PHotoESPAÑA, Madrid (ES)
  • 2014 | Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg (DE)
  • 2014 | Huantie Times Art Museum, Beijing (CN)
  • 2011 | Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt am Main (DE)
  • Publikationen / Publications:
  • 2018 | Photo Book “Wild West”, Kehrer Verlag (DE)

Personal Website

http://www.joachim-hildebrand.de

Galleries

Joachim Hildebrand | Allemagne Mon Amour (2011 - ongoing)

Joachim Hildebrand | Allemagne Mon Amour (2011 - ongoing)

The series Allemagne mon Amour is all about central places and spaces of everyday life in the homeland of the photographer - dwellings and their surroundings. In these places, the residents spend their free time, live out their individuality (or at least try to), strive for some privacy. Here the next generation grows up. Residents are shaped by their 'home', the places and spaces in which they live. They also shape them themselves, for example through planting and the use of colors. The interventions of the inhabitants in their environment are central factors for the atmosphere and the aura of these places. They give us – together with the traces of life, which are 'stored' there – manifold information. They tell us something about the inhabitants, even if you do not see them. This creates an indirect portrait of Germany, its inhabitants, and their lives. The view of the often uninspired settlement architecture in "blossoming landscapes" is calm and unspectacular. Precise compositions contrast with the very own poetry of these places.

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Joachim Hildebrand | Wild West (2015 - 2017)

Joachim Hildebrand | Wild West (2015 - 2017)

What better way to approach an American myth than through a road trip? I traveled through the seven states of the American Southwest, in which the Wild West is located both geographically and in our imagination. The title of the series and book inevitably evokes images full of clichés and stereotypes. Today, where the wilderness has been displaced by civilization, I discover entirely different scenes than those generally associated with the Wild West and the American frontier. I set my sight on blurred contours, contradictions, borders, and transitions: from architecture to nature, from urbanity to landscape. The archetypes of the American West have become mere platitudes. In my pictures, the myths of the Wild West and the »manifest destiny«, which are so essential for the self-understanding of the USA, are deconstructed. For me, however, the West continues to fascinate as a visual adventure.

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Joachim Hildebrand | Mass Storage (2008)

Joachim Hildebrand | Mass Storage (2008)

The unnatural condensation of the living space of the modern urban population is particularly evident in the case of Asian metropolises (Hong Kong in the present case). Here, the oppressive atmosphere is felt, the perspective contributes to this crucially. Residential buildings crowd tightly. There are hardly any gaps outside the honeycombs that could serve as places for individuality. Additional personal space is available to a few. Rooftop terraces are used in many different ways: sundeck, miniature jungle, garbage dump.

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Joachim Hildebrand | Neue Heimat (New Home) (2011 - 2012)

Joachim Hildebrand | Neue Heimat (New Home) (2011 - 2012)

Being a small boy and on my way to school, I used to walk across an urban settlement. The houses were alike as two peas in a pod and aroused both my interest and curiosity. In the fifties and sixties, these functional, unembellished settlements mushroomed all over Germany. In the wake of World War II, living space was scarce. Innumerable unmoored people were in need of a new home. The first residents of these settlements oftentimes were refugees. Today, we again see many deracinated people live in these almost unchanged buildings. Looking from the outside, it is almost impossible to allocate certain residents, families and their cultural backgrounds to respective windows or apartments. This replaceability of residents is being reflected by the uniform buildings with their uninspiring architecture. The shadows on the buildings elicit manifold associations. They refer to the past, to the memories and to the dreams of the residents. The shadows and buildings being merged to a poetic impression, these shadows become a metaphor for the fusion of residents, their families, their life lines, maybe even their cultures with what is supposed to be a new home to them. It is as if the shadows narrate something about the events taking place in the buildings as well as about their residents.

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