back to previous site


2022 DFA Summer-Conference | Zeughaus Mannheim





DFA-Conference 2022 | Mannheim

Here you will find the program of the conference and short descriptions of the presentations. The presentations will be held regularly in German. For all those who cannot be present, there is the livestream of our Facebook page and after the conference the recordings. Here, on Youtube and Instagram.


Florian-Waldeck-Saal, in the historical „Zeughaus“, which is a part of Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums, Toulonplatz, C 5, 68159 Mannheim.

We would like to thank you for the funding from "KULTUR.GEMEINSCHAFTEN - Förderprogramm für digitale Content-Produktion in Kultureinrichtungen". This funding project is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, NEUSTART KULTUR and the Kulturstiftung der Länder.

Hygiene rules & registration

  • To ensure that we all feel comfortable despite the still raging corona pandemic, we are limiting the seating in the hall to half the maximum capacity.
  • Seats will be allocated by pre-registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Personal registration is not transferable to other persons.
  • Please register via our Doodle page and fill in which parts of the event you would like to attend.

  • The 2G rule applies. Appropriate proof will be checked at the entrance.
  • Regardless of any restrictions that may be imposed (which cannot be foreseen in the current legal confusion), we as organisers require that you wear an FFP2 mask in the building.
  • Due to the current situation, there may of course still be adjustments to the schedule. Please check this page for the latest information.

  • The entire event will be broadcast via Facebook live stream, recorded and can then be viewed on the DFA homepage, Instagram and YouTube.
  • By registering for the event, participants agree to this.
  • We will set up a blind spot for the audience cameras. Those who do not want to be visible during the streaming of the event for data protection reasons should stay in this area.

DFA Conference Programme

We are delighted to be collaborating with the Biennale for Contemporary Photography, which takes place in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg until 22 May. We are collaborating on some of our digital formats and will be partially addressing the Biennale theme ("From Where I Stand") curated by iris Sikking with the programme of our conference.

Saturday, 7 May

  • 10.00 - 10.05 Welcome: Dr Claude W. Sui
  • 10.05 - 10.15 Greeting: Ingo Taubhorn
    10.15 - 11.15 Christine Erhard
    11.15 - 12.15 Karen Irmer**
    12.15 - 13.45 Lunch break
    13.45 - 14.45 Jörg Gläscher
    14.45 - 15.45 Felix Koltermann
    15.45 - 16.30 Coffee break
    16.30 - 17.30 Olaf Otto Becker**
    18.00 - 21.00 Portfolio Walk with Sterre Arentsen, Eckart Bartnik, Uschi Groos, Samet Durgun, Jörg Egerer, Petra Gerwers, Norbert Graf, Katrin Greiner, Stefan Scherf, Kristin Schnell.

Sunday, 8 May

10.00 - 11.00 Frank Göldner**
11.00 - 12.00 Paula Markert
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break
13.00 - 14.00 Beate Gütschow
14.00 - 15.00 Frank Schumacher**
15.00 - 15.45 Informal conversations over coffee
16:00 End of the conference

**thematic reference to the biennial


Christine Erhard

Saturday, 7 May | 10.15 - 11.15 AM (CET)

'In complex relationships between spatial constellations conceived solely for the camera view and photographic (re)constructions, Christine Erhard searches for procedures to bring together different levels of reality that determine perception. In doing so, she examines the possibilities and effects of reproduction and reconstruction. In her photographic works, two-dimensional images often become models for plastic constructions, which in turn are photographed so that different levels of reflection and reality overlap.'

Christine Erhard, born in 1969, lives and works in Düsseldorf. She studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and has presented her work in numerous national and international exhibitions, including. at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Institute for Provocation Beijing (CHN), Galerie Rasche/Ripken Berlin, The Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art Chongqing (CHN), Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago (USA), Museum für Photographie Braunschweig, Mills College Art Museum Oakland (USA), Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Ridgefield (USA), Fotomuseum Rotterdam (NL), Architectural Association London (GB) and Museum Folkwang Essen. She has received numerous prizes and scholarships, including the Merck Prize of the Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie.

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Christine Erhard | BA I, 150x110 cm, 2020.

Jörg Gläscher

Der Eid/The Oath vs. corona diary magazines

Saturday, 7 May | 1.45 - 2.45 PM (CET)

'From the magic of photo-documentary book projects, to self-published magazines: After 5 photo-documentary book projects, the Corona Pandemic has liberated me photographically. Through commissioned burglaries it gave me the time, through its apocalyptic drama it gave me a subject and my private environment gave me the security and affirmation to do things I haven't done in a long time. At the moment I go into the woods in the morning with a chainsaw and worked on sculptures and series of paintings. A comparison.'

  • 23.5.1966 | Born in Osnabrück
  • 1988 - 1990 | trained as an advertising photographer in Hamburg,
  • 1993 - 1995 | worked as a freelance photographer in Hamburg and Dortmund
  • 1996 | studied fine arts, majoring in photography, at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, with Timm Rautert
  • 2003 | Diploma class Prof. Timm Rautert. Title "Image etc."
  • 2015 | Lectureship in Photography at the HTW Berlin
  • 2016 | Lectureship at the FH Hannover
  • Lives and works in Leipzig

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Jörg Gläscher | Der Eid (police officer Rut Herner Konradsdottir, district police, Akureyri Iceland)

Dr. Felix Koltermann

The hybrid double-spread - Photographic artists' books in newsprint

Saturday, 7 May | 2.45 - 3.45 PM (CET)

'Newsprint is commonly known as a printing method with poor quality and high number of printed copies. But with the transition towards digital printing techniques and in-time production newsprint became interesting for photographers as an alternative to the cost intensive classic book printing. Since the end of the 20th century a lot of photographic artists' books have been published using this technique. In my lecture, I will show how these publications have developed as a new genre between the classic photobook and the newspaper. The study presents ten publications taken from my collection of newsprint photobooks ( I will show how the medium deals with the double spread and how it undermines the logic of classic composition in photobooks and newspapers. In this medium, the possibilities of designing double spreads in newspaper format are used in a very creative manner playing with the fact that the pages are usually unbound. In newsprint photobooks we can find hybrid double-spreads with picture and word areas determined by a form of disintegration.'

Dr. Felix Koltermann is research assistant at the Institute for Media, Theatre and Popular Culture at the University of Hildesheim. His research interests are photojournalism, international photographic cultures, visual literacy and the contemporary photobook. He recently published his book 'Fotoreporter im Konflikt' (transcript 2017). Since several years Felix Koltermann has been building up a collection of photobooks in newsprint ( The collection was first presented at the exhibition 'On books and photography' in winter 2016 in Dortmund.

Due to technical problems, there is no recording of this talk.

Thematic example from the presentation: © Felix Kleymann | Pacificação, 2013

Paula Markert

Sunday, 8 May | 11.00 PM - noon (CET)

'In her presentation, Paula Markert gives an overview of her career and conceptual strategies of her artistic-documentary practice, which she understands as self-questioning and active participation in social and political discourses. Starting with her work "Die Verhältnisse" (The Circumstances), in which stagings of individual family stories and questions of identity form a projection surface for thoughts on the universal thematic complex of family, she presents later projects that expand this intimate context and consider people as part of the social and political contexts in which they move: Ring/Halqa (2018) was created as a photographic reaction to the seemingly one-dimensional imagery of the so-called 'refugee crisis'. With the long-term project published in 2019 as a book 'Eine Reise durch Deutschland. Die Mordserie des NSU' (A Journey through Germany. The NSU Murder Series), published as a book in 2019, Paula Markert interrogates a country in which social structures and state failure favoured a right-wing terrorist series of attacks and in the course of which the NSU trio, observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, was able to murder ten people from underground for racist motives.'

Paula Markert (*1982), studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg and the University of Barcelona, Spain. She has been working as an editorial photographer since 2012. In her free works, which are mostly long-term projects, she deals with social and political issues. Her works make use of different types of documentary narrative forms and reflect not only the respective topic, but also the border areas between documentary and artistic photography and take up this debate in the medial expansion with text, audio, etc. The most recent publication in 2019 was her long-term project 'A Journey through Germany. The NSU series of murders' by Hartmann Books. Her free works have won several awards and are shown in exhibitions. Since 2021, Paula Markert has been a substitute professor for photography at the Department of Design at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Paula Markert | Ring / Halqa, 2018

Beate Gütschow

Sunday, 8 May | 1.00 - 2.00 PM (CET)

The German artist Beate Gütschow (*1970) studied at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (1993-2000) and at the Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Norway (1997). In addition to the Ars Viva Prize, Beate Gütschow was also awarded the Otto Dix Prize / IBM Art Prize New Media. She also received a scholarship for a residency at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.

Her works have already been exhibited in prestigious exhibition houses such as the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau in Dresden, the Kunsthalle Nuremberg or the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (US). They are owned by many private and public collections, including the Art Collection Deutsche Börse, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (US), the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, the Kunsthaus Zürich (CH), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (US). Beate Gütschow lives and works in Cologne and Berlin.

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Beate Gütschow | HC4-2018, 148x115cm ® VG Bildkunst

Frank Schumacher

Sustainability or exploring the limits of the visible in photography.

Sunday, 8 May | 2.00 - 3.00 PM (CET)

'Photographs are visualisations of rays and streams in time, timeless repetitions in the cycle of pictorial history. Photography is first used as a way of perceiving, of seeing realities and their fictitious interpretations, as the medium of pictorial communication, and in parallel the inverse image search in the data stream makes it possible to work against amnesia and disappearance. It is about the rediscovery of slowness, the dissection of time, the fraction, the moment from the present. Gaze, glances, retrospection and moments are thematised. The back/reflection, the reflection, the sending and the receiving. A theoretical impulse for practical application. Perception four-point-zero.'

Frank Schumacher has been head of the photography department at the Lette Verein Berlin since 2008, where he teaches Visual Media Conception & Design, Artistic Basics Photography and Fashion Media. After studying photography at the FH Bielefeld and graduating with Prof. Gottfried Jäger, he founded the Büro für Fotografie und Gestaltung in Cologne in 1994 and has worked as a photographer for editorial, corporate and advertising. He has participated in various exhibitions, including at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston and the Centre National de la Photographie. From 2001 to 2007 he was professor of photography at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach.'

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

@ Frank Schumacher | GEGENWART MONO, Tryptichon links


Karen Irmer

State of Change

Saturday, 7 May | 11.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.

'Ice floes piled up into bizarre formations are reflected in the water. Gnarled tree shapes are reflected back in a lake. In Karen Irmer's photographic works of the series "State of Change" we encounter natural spaces of high atmospheric intensity. Mystical, mysterious, sometimes threatening, the upright-format sceneries appear. But only at first glance do we think that we are looking at a real image of reality. We quickly get the feeling that something is not right in these pictures. Guided by our need for orientation, we examine the photographs for their truth content in order to finally unmask the incongruence of perception and reality. The life-size works unite these contradictory poles through their aesthetics and derive their special tension from this. Irmer's works repeatedly cause irritation and question patterns of perception. This play with our perception runs like a thread through the artist's oeuvre. At this year's DFA Spring Conference, the artist will present this complex of works and also address an expanded form of photography that explores projection and other techniques of reproduction as possibilities.'

Karen Irmer became known for her work that breaks down the boundaries between film and photography. Observant, the artist investigates places that she transforms into new, different and extremely atmospheric worlds simply through her choice of angle and the way she shoots them. The artistic intention is not an obviously political one, yet her intense works, which always include the natural space, can also always be read as an appeal to be mindful of the available resources. Her careful, slow, meditative approach to her subject is already evident in her journey - Irmer travels by train and ship whenever possible, avoiding the fast and polluting travel by plane. In search of image and film material, the artist thus travels to Arctic regions and remote islands. She hikes in uninhabited and barren areas to find inspiration for her artistic work. Soon, this urge to explore will take her to the Nordic Arts Center in Dale, Northern Norway, for two months.

Irmer's exhibition list is equally international. In addition to solo presentations in Munich - for example at 'Kino der Kunst', as part of Photoweekend Düsseldorf and in Berlin, she was represented at 'Scope Basel', 'Freshpaint Contemporary' Tel Aviv, in Amsterdam as well as in the USA. From 2015-2017, Irmer taught as part of the Dorothea Erxleben Programme at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig.

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Karen Irmer | Zustand der Veränderung 2

Olaf Otto Becker

Siberian Summer (2019)

Saturday, 7 May | 4.30 - 5.30 pm

Becker's photographs, taken during the summer months, do not conform to the expectations and stereotypes of Siberia, namely inhospitable snow masses or exile and imprisonment during the Soviet era. Instead, there are shots of melting permafrost cliffs, an in-depth examination of the tundra and its scientific study, and a look at the social and architectural aspects of the port city of Tiksi, including portraits of the local population. The book is imbued with a strong sense of melancholy and thoughtfulness, and Becker's approach to this landscape is like an attentive and careful stocktaking.

OLAF OTTO BECKER (*1959, Travemünde) studied communication design in Augsburg and philosophy and political science in Munich. His photographs can be found in exhibitions worldwide and are represented in important collections. Broken Line (2017), Above Zero (2009), Under the Nordic Light (2011), Reading the Landscape (2014) and Ilulissat (2017) were published by Hatje Cantz.

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Olaf Otto Becker | Muostakh Island

Frank Göldner


Sunday, 8 May | 10.00 - 11.00 a.m.

'The undergrowth is a microcosm, the basis from which everything grows, which remains when something bigger fades away. The humus from which new things arise. Here, opposites overlap, merge, penetrate each other, interact. Urban with nature, colour with blackness, dark with light, good and evil, old and new, chance and aspiration. A space in which different levels of meaning overlap and interweave. The Unterholz series shows this eternal struggle.'

  • 1962 | born in Berlin
  • 1971 | moved to Duisburg
  • 1987 - 1994 | studied communication design at the BUGH Wuppertal
  • 1995 | BFF Junior Member
  • 1997 | Appointed to the DFA (German Photography 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 | Appointed to the DGPh

Watch recording on: YouTube | Facebook

© Frank Göldner | Unterholz


© Eckart Bartnik | Flood Sculptures
© Samet Durgun | Come Get Your Honey
© Jörg Egerer | Die Ahnung der Dinge
© Norbert Graf
© Uschi Groos | Mind the gap
© Katrin Greiner | On tiptoe? No go!
© Stefan Scherf | Patch-Works
© Petra Gerwers | Time Travellers
© Sterre Arentsen
© Kristin Schnell

published on: