About

After studying foreign languages (French and Portuguese), I worked for several years as a television editor. My enthusiasm for photography was always there. In the mid-90s I finally gave up working with movies and moving images and concentrated entirely on photography. I have been living and working in Hamburg since 1989.

Statement

The focus of my work is mostly on places that have been shaped, abandoned or left in a state of upheaval by history. Places that touch me in different ways and whose history makes me curious about what is still visible today. For several months I visit these sites again and again and talk to local residents as well as to former witnesses. Through this intensive study, a personal visual language, as well as a "narrative" concept, develops. I am very interested in architecture and like to compose my pictures with regard to graphic and geometric elements. Further similarities of my photographs are a very fragmentary view as well as an often unfamiliar perspective that invites the observer to take a closer look. Even though I can't make the past visible, it appeals to me to artistically work out the differences between the past and the present. In this respect, my works are not primarily intended to document, but are the result of my personal engagement with the place.

Education

  • 2012 – 2015 | Lichtblick School, Köln (DE)
  • 2009 – 2011 | Neue Schule für Fotografie, Berlin (DE)
  • 1982 – 1987 | Französisch und Portugiesisch, Universität Heidelberg (DE)

Institution (Work Experience)

  • 1990 – 2004 | Tätigkeit als Fernsehredakteurin und Übersetzerin (DE)

Selected Awards

  • 2018 | „Prix Voies Off“, nominated, Rencontres Arles (FR)
  • 2017 | “Prix Photoeil”, 1st prize, Rencontres Cinématographiques Cerbère (FR)
  • 2017 | “Opus Fotopreis”, 1st prize, Opus-Kulturmagazin Saarbrücken (DE)
  • 2017 | “Dummy Book Award“, nominated, Rencontres d‘Arles (FR)
  • 2016 | „PhotoEspana - best international photobook“, nominated, Madrid (ES)
  • 2014 | „Stiftung Kunstfonds“, Förderpreis, Bonn (DE)

Selected Exhibitions/Publications

  • Einzelausstellungen / Solo Exhibitions:
  • 2019 | Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxemburg (LU)
  • 2019 | Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin (DE)
  • 2019 | Tempelhof Museum, Berlin (DE)
  • 2017 | Rencontres Cinématographiques Cerbère/Portbou, (FR)
  • Publikationen / Publications:
  • 2018 | Fotobuch „Schengen“, Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg (DE)
  • 2015 | Fotobuch „Objekt I – Stasigefängnis und Haftkrankenhaus Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg (DE)

Personal Website

http://www.ruthstoltenberg.de/

Photobook | Object I. Stasi Prison and Prison Hospital Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

Photobook | Object I. Stasi Prison and Prison Hospital Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

Photobook, published in 2015 by Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg. 22 x 28 cm hardcover with dust jacket and English booklet, 128 pages, 80 color illustrations, English, German. ISBN 978-3-86828-601-4 2015 Texts: Ruth Stoltenberg, Roland Jahn, Wolfgang Zurborn.

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PDF Presentation

Galleries

Ruth Stoltenberg | Schengen (2017)

Ruth Stoltenberg | Schengen (2017)

Schengen is a small winemaking village in Luxembourg which shares a border with Germany and with France. It is here that the agreement to eliminate the inner-European border checks of the Schengen Area was signed and which today is literally reaching its limits. Ruth Stoltenberg grew up in this border triangle and was interested in exploring just what influence the opening of the borders has had after all this time on the various cultures and lifestyles of the people in those three countries. Referring to the Schengen model she asks: Is national identity visible? Or does the region, shaped by the cultivation of wine and by farming, have its own unique, transnational character? The work "Schengen" has received national as well as international prizes and was published in 2018 by Kehrer Verlag.

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Ruth Stoltenberg | Object I - Stasi Prison and Prison Hospital Berlin-Hohenschönhausen (2015)

Ruth Stoltenberg | Object I - Stasi Prison and Prison Hospital Berlin-Hohenschönhausen (2015)

This work shows us the former Berlin-Hohenschönhausen detention center and the accompanying prison hospital from a very personal perspective. Especially thought-provoking are the interior views of the interrogation rooms, which were meant to project a cozy living-room atmosphere in contrast to the sparsely furnished cells in order to move prisoners to divulge information. The chairs on which those questioned were seated loom large in these images, standing for the many individual fates that were once sealed on the premises. The sensitive photographs are accompanied by accounts by eyewitnesses of their horrific experiences at the hands of the East German Stasi in these very rooms.

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Ruth Stoltenberg | Discovering illusions - HafenCity Hamburg (2011)

Ruth Stoltenberg | Discovering illusions - HafenCity Hamburg (2011)

This work accompanies the expansion of the first construction phase of the major "HafenCity" construction site, where a 157-hectare district is being built. Cranes, excavators, scaffolding as far as the eye can see. Dust, noise, hustle and bustle wherever you go. To capture this chaos, the photographer concentrated on playing with imaginary and real spaces. Her very fragmentary view allows objects from construction banners or advertising posters to merge with objects from reality and thus creating a new image.

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