Ludwig Kuffer, Andreas Langfeld, Elisabeth Neudörfl
30 JUL – 7 NOV 2021
The photographs by Ludwig Kuffer, Andreas Langfeld and Elisabeth Neudörfl from the Alfried Krupp Hospital, which has clinics in the Rüttenscheid and the Steele districts of Essen, present a strictly functional and high-tech working environment where the focus is on humans and caring for them. In her black-and-white images Elisabeth Neudörfl documents the empty, regulated corridors in the hospitals where that everyday life takes place which we can follow in Andreas Langfeld’s colour portraits: Photographs of operations, planning sessions, and everyday workflow are combined with portraits of people on location. Ludwig Kuffer’s detailed studies of technological apparatus or everyday things offer a firm idea of the built and lived reality that extends between optimized infrastructure and highly developed technology. Elisabeth Neudörfl is Professor of Documentary Photography at Folkwang University of the Arts, where both Andreas Langfeld and Ludwig Kuffer graduated.
Alongside the series of images by Kuffer, Langfeld and Neudörfl the exhibition amongst other things also presents Karl Heinz Tobias’ socio-critical series of photographs of Frauen im Altenheim (1987) and thus highlights aspects of caring for people in specialized institutions. Günter Hildenhagen’s work entitled Freunde (1979) concentrates, by contrast, on the close relationship between two men in a facility for people with disabilities. In Beauty Parlour (1973) Susan Mogul highlights a segment of the service sector dedicated to cosmetic treatments, personal wishes, and purpose-made premises. The early work of Candida Höfer, who in 1981 took photographs in a spa complex in Baden-Baden, also foregrounded healing and recuperation.