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2024 DFA Conference | Mannheim: 22.-23. Juni 2024



DFA Conference | Mannheim | June 21-23, 2024

We cordially invite you to the summer conference in Mannheim! In mid-June, DFA members and invited guests will present their photographic work for discussion. Selected lectures will be streamed LIVE on Facebook.

Conference venue

Florian Waldeck Hall of the Museum Zeughaus, C5, 68159 Mannheim

Conference program

Friday, June 21, 2024

  • 15.00 - 18.00 General meeting

Saturday, June 22, 2024

  • 9.45 Arrival and admission to the auditorium.
  • 10.00 - 10.15 Welcome: Ingo Taubhorn
  • 10.15 - 11.15 Claude W. Sui
  • 11.15 - 12.15 Kai Brüninghaus (Peter Bialobrzeski)
  • 12.15 - 13.30 Lunch break
  • 13.30 - 14.30 Sue Barr (Karin Jobst)
  • 14.30 - 15.30 Frank Göldner
  • 15.30 - 16.00 Coffee break
  • 16.00 - 17.00 Ulrike Mönnig, Annett Jahn (Claus Bach)
  • 17.00 - 18.00 Kirsten Kleie (Michael Jochum)
  • 18.30 Presentation of the David Octavius Hill Medal to Eamonn Doyle
  • Laudatory speech: Celina Lunsford, artistic director of the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
  • Musical contribution: jazz pianist Antoine Spranger

Sunday, June 23, 2024

  • 10.00 - 10.15 Welcome: Ingo Taubhorn
  • 10.15 - 11.00 Ruth Stoltenberg
  • 11.00 - 11.45 Ingo Taubhorn

  • 11.45 - 13.00 Lunch break
  • 13.00 - 13.45 Marc Volk
  • 13.45 - 14.30 Thomas Wrede
  • 14.30 - 15.00 Coffee break
  • 15.00 - 15.45 Boris Eldagsen
  • 15.45 - 16.30 Dorothea Heise (Hendrik Faure)
  • 16.30 End of the conference


Kai Brüninghaus

Saturday, June 22, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (CET)

Kai Brüninghaus - Diffusionists

Portraits of people with idiosyncratic apparatus, strange research and technology of a bygone era provide an insight into a world of science that seems to redefine scientific boundaries. The sepia-colored black and white photographs create an indefinable atmosphere and bring to life a world of science 100 years ago.

Like a snapshot sent back in time, the photographic time capsule of the historical photo album reveals themes such as the belief in progress, overcoming inhibiting laws of nature and the eternal dream of the world formula. People, laboratories, devices and phenomena are artificially generated despite supposed photographic testimony. In this work, a photogenic image world opens up, created through the controlling use of image-generating artificial intelligence.

In addition to the increasing loss of the authentic quality of photographic images, the work addresses social aspects of the new, disruptive technology and calls for an examination of the themes of progress, humanity and trust in science and technology.

Kai Brüninghaus (*1964) developed an experimental, painterly approach in his photographic work while studying fine art at the former Werkkunstschule in Cologne. Parallel to art, he studied communication design at the same institution. As a master student of Prof. Stefan Wewerka and with a diploma in visual communication, he moved to Hamburg, where he pursued his artistic-photographic path in various serial projects and experimental individual works, while at the same time accompanying brands and companies in their visual development.

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Diffusionisten, Flugschule
© Kai Brüninghaus | Diffusionists, flight school

Sue Barr

Saturday, June 22, 2024, 1.30 - 2.30 pm (CET)

Sue Barr is Professor of Photography at Munich University of Applied Sciences, where her teaching focuses on architectural photography. She completed her PhD at the Royal College of Art in London, where she used topographical photography in combination with 18th century aesthetic theory to document examples of the sublime in highway architecture between the Alps and Naples. Most recently she was Head of Photography at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Sue Barr
© Sue Barr

Dorothea Heise

Sunday, 23 June, 3.45 pm (CET)

The ideal theatre photographer is invisible, silent, sensitive to the atmospheric mood and delivers results that perfectly reflect the overall intention of the production.

That is why I have been working for over 20 years, albeit not completely invisibly, in dark clothing, in stockings and almost silently apart from breathing. It's highly concentrated work, because you have to photograph the right fraction of a second. There is no second chance. Every production is completely individual: from the content and the working atmosphere of the entire artistic team to the technical conditions such as the stage and lighting. In addition, there is always only available light, which is completely different for the human eye (usually connected to a brain) than for the camera, which works according to purely physical laws. Always a new challenge.

In the end, only the photos count, as they are often the only thing that remains of the production apart from the personal memories.

Short biography

After completing my degree in media education, I started working as a theatre photographer in the last millennium: A job in the midst of extremely diverse artistic circles and with very unconventional working hours. After more than 10 seasons, I became self-employed in the current millennium and still work today for permanent and independent theatres, open-air theatre, dance and opera.

In short: I am a passionate theatre photographer.

Dorothea Heise
© Dorothea Heise

Ulrike Mönnig, Annett Jahn

Saturday, 22 June, 16.00 - 17.00 (CET)

Happiness teeters on the edges. The late GDR in photography

The photo exhibition, which took place from 4 December 2022 to 13 February 2023 at the ACC Galerie Weimar to great public acclaim, brought together both well-known and little-shown material and immersed itself in the everyday lives of GDR citizens without necessarily finding itself in the centre of society. The photographic positions of 37 photographers ranged from documentary practices to artistic and staged imagery to filmic works. On display were images taken in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, including a number of original prints. In addition, positions were taken into account that focus on the country against the background of an origin outside the GDR.

The curators provide an insight into the development process of the project, the conceptual structure of the show and the adaptation of what is shown in the publication of the same name, which will be published by the Weimar-based publishing house M BOOKS in spring 2024.

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Ulrike Mönnig, Annett Jahn
© Ulrike Mönnig, Annett Jahn

Kirsten Kleie

Saturday, 22 June, 17.00 - 18.00 (CET)

Kirsten Kleie works serially and with found pictorial objects. Found, not only in the form of real postcards, book, text or image templates, but also found in traditional ideas. These "representatives" are detached from their original context, recombined and fed into the work process. The system of model/copy, discovery/disturbance, subject/object, reality/fiction is scrutinised. This changes the usual perception of images. As documents of time, place, longing or everyday life, the originals disintegrate and can no longer be read unambiguously. They begin to oscillate between their various meanings and the socially agreed conventions inherent in the photographic medium are called into question. The aim is to open up spaces of association and to make visible the often opaque superimpositions of our culturally and socially moulded stereotypes.

Kirsten Kleie is an artist and teacher. She lives and works in Munich. 1986-88 Trained at the Bavarian State School of Photography. 2009 - 2014 Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, diploma as master student, photography class. 2019 - 2021 Teaching position at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2001 she has been head of the photography & video/film department at MVHS and is a member of the following associations: BBK Munich, GEDOK Munich, K&K Kunst und Kind. 2023 Participation A.I.R. Programme Finland for Fine and Applied Arts.

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Kirsten Kleie
© Kirsten Kleie | Initation, 2019


Claude W. Sui

Saturday, 22 June 2024, 10:15 a.m. (CET)

Robert Häusser on his 100th birthday

Robert Häusser would have been 100 years old this year. His work shows references to "New Objectivity", "Magical Realism" and "Subjective Photography". Another anniversary is also being celebrated in Mannheim at the same time: "100 Years of New Objectivity". Image correspondences between the main representatives of New Objectivity in photography - August Sander and Albert Renger-Patzsch - will be juxtaposed with works by Robert Häusser. From image to symbol, from symbol to meta-image, enigmatic, abysmal, making the invisible visible, the visible transparent - this is Robert Häusser's artistic-philosophical pictorial syntax, which at the same time shows a proximity to Surrealism. He thus became a pioneer of post-war photography, a classic of modernism and a monolith of a subjective photographic movement. Claude W. Sui is the curator of this exhibition.

Prof. Dr Claude W. Sui is head of the Art and Cultural History department and director and exhibition curator of the Forum Internationale Photographie at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim.

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

© Robert Häusser
© Robert Häusser

Frank Göldner

Saturday, 22 June, 2.30 pm (CET)

dust to dust

the dust of images

an image cycle of becoming and passing away, destroying, eliminating, perishing, bypassing and...

an episode in the eternal cycle. a marginal note already in the process of decay. the creation of images of constant destruction. signs of a time that wants to erase everything. 16 images attacked by adverse circumstances.

Frank Göldner

  • 1962 born in Berlin
  • 1971 moved to Duisburg
  • 1987 - 1994 Studied communication design at the BUGH Wuppertal
  • 1995 BFF junior member
  • 1997 Appointment to the DFA (German Photographic Academy)
  • 1997 since April Artistic assistant at the Bauhaus University, Weimar, Faculty of Design
  • 2000 BFF full member
  • 2001 since October Professor of Photography at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Design
  • 2005 Appointment to the DGPh

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Frank Göldner
© Frank Göldner| dust to dust

Ruth Stoltenberg

Sunday, 23 June, 10.15 am (CET)

Shot - Reverse Shot | Cindy & Herman

This work has its origins in the "untitled film stills" by Cindy Sherman from 1977-1980. I have recreated 20 photographs from the series and supplemented each of these images with one of my own, which mostly shows the situation of the person opposite. Shot and counter-shot, like a pan with the camera in a film. The result is a longer sequence of images that tells its own film story.

Cindy Sherman shot the interior shots of the untitled film stills almost exclusively in her flat in New York, which also served as her studio. As I was in corona lockdown at the beginning of this project and could hardly leave my flat, I found myself in a similar situation. I improvised and tinkered, very much in line with Cindy's idea, who herself writes: "I tried to think of ways to make the loft look like it could be other places - perhaps a hotel room, or the lobby of some kind of apartment building, even though it was just my funky loft, which certainly didn't have a lobby."

Ruth Stoltenberg (*1962) initially worked as a television editor before focussing on photography. She enjoys immersing herself in foreign cultures and artistically exploring what moves her in different places. But she is also constantly inspired to create new photographic series in her home city of Hamburg. Her work can be found in renowned collections, has been exhibited and awarded nationally and internationally and the most important projects have been published in catalogues and books. Ruth Stoltenberg has been a member of the DFA Executive Committee since 2019.

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Shot - Reverse Shot | Cindy & Herman
© Ruth Stoltenberg

Ingo Taubhorn

Sunday, 23 June, 11.00 a.m. (CET)

Since the beginning of my passion for an extraordinary medium, the reception of photography has accompanied me alongside my own artistic development and production of art. Photo books as objects play an important role for me. In the course of my work as curator of an exhibition centre, I was repeatedly confronted with books that did not stand up to my value judgement and had to be discarded. Some of them had to be reviewed. Since the critic and curator primarily use the word, I asked myself what form would be appropriate for me as an artist (and not as a curator) to reflect on the work of another artist.

I was reminded of an approach that the French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard had already suggested to his students during the film courses at the Conservatoire d'Art Cinématographique in Montreal in autumn 1978: When you talk about a medium, you should do it with "very own means", that is, when I "write" about photography, I should do it with images and not with words. I am presenting the results of this approach publicly for the very first time at this conference using selected examples. In this respect, to use the first sentence of this introduction, my own artistic work has continued to accompany me over the last few decades, alongside my intensive exhibition and catalogue making.

Ingo Taubhorn | Objekt mit Doppelseite
© Ingo Taubhorn

Marc Volk | NO FOTOS

Sunday, 23 June, 13:00 (CET)


We go to clubs because we want to experience something. We seek intoxication, we seek dissolution, we seek loss of control. We want to lose ourselves: in music, in dance, in sex and in drugs. We want to break out of everyday life and remain unobserved.

The images in the work NO FOTOS were created with the help of short text prompts and the artificial intelligence Dall E-2. In this process, the artificial intelligence imagines images that it considers plausible and suitable for the descriptions.

As with analogue and digital photography, I am fascinated by the fractures in the medium. The flawed representations of artificial intelligence, its hallucinations and its apparent over-interpretation of reality reveal a new aesthetic that will presumably soon disappear.

In the work NO FOTOS, I tell the story of a club night in 73 pictures, in the course of which control is increasingly lost. The situations become increasingly surreal, the figures merge or dissolve. At the same time, the photographic narrative remains coherent, because everything that happens takes place against the backdrop of what is visually expected. The promise of reality in seemingly photographic images is (still) real.

Publication: NO FOTOS, mv edition, 2024, Softcover, 92 pages, 73 pictures, Limited and numbered edition of 250 books, EUR 28,00, ISBN: 978-3-9824120-4

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Marc Volk | NOFOTOS
© Marc Volk | NOFOTOS

Thomas Wrede | The snow was white

Saturday, 23 June, 13:45 (CET)

White was the snow

For the photo project "White was the snow" I visited numerous glaciers in the Alps. A project that follows on from the previous series of works with questions about our relationship to nature and reflects the aspects of an artificial and at the same time natural landscape.

Since 2018, the Swiss Rhone Glacier with its covered ice grotto has formed the starting point of the project. The ice cave, which is to be protected with fleece cloths against the ever-increasing warming and thus against melting, has offered me exciting interior and exterior shots. The detail shots are complemented by large-format and multi-part landscape panoramas.

The melting process is accompanied and intensified by special colour and natural phenomena (e.g. blood snow). The traces of the climate crisis are thus also evident in the colourfulness and materiality of the ice and its coverings. These almost helpless-looking human interventions make the "woundedness" of nature all the more visible. And ultimately, this is primarily about economic interests.


  • Thomas Wrede, Münster (born 1963 in Iserlohn)
  • 1985 - 1992 Art Academy Münster (painting, drawing, photography)
  • 1991 Guest student with Prof Dieter Appelt (UdK Berlin)
  • Since 2015 Professor of Photography and Media Art, Essen University of Fine Arts
  • Numerous exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the USA since 1992
  • 2018 Sceneries, Von der Heydt-Kunsthalle Wuppertal (survey exhibition)
  • 2024 Forests. From Romanticism into the Future, Museum Sinclair Haus, Bad Homburg
  • Since 1992 publication of various photo books and represented in international collections

Watch recording: YouTube | Facebook

Thomas Wrede | Rhonegletscher IV, 170 x 220 cm, 2020
© Thomas Wrede | The snow was white

Boris Eldagsen | TRAUMA PORN

Sunday, 23 June, 15:00 (CET)

Boris Eldagsen & Tanvir Taolad | TRAUMA PORN

Installation about war and trauma
Vintage photographs, promptography (AI-generated images), objects, 2023 - ongoing)


TRAUMA PORN is an experimental installation that deals with trauma as a long-term consequence of war.

Photographs from Nazi Germany and the Second World War become the source material for AI-generated and altered visual worlds. TRAUMA PORN attempts to reconstruct the traumatic flashbacks of Eldagsen's father, who went to war at the age of 16 and never spoke about it until his death.

A totalitarian regime needs people who carry out its crimes - and those who support it ideologically or through their passivity. The present work concentrates on the mass of supporters. It is an attempt to put oneself in the mind of an average person who is sucked into the abyss and can no longer get out.

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Boris Eldagsen & Tanvir Taolad | TRAUMA PORN
© Boris Eldagsen & Tanvir Taolad | TRAUMA PORN

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