From a distance, you might believe you are approaching a collection of classical paintings. Here, for example, we see the Virgin Mary, nursing her child, portrayed in the archetypal one-point perspective of the Christian Madonna depictions. Next to it, an example of the growing importance of post-Renaissance portrait art, is the picture of a man, adorned and bedecked with attributes befitting his apparent status. He is seated in a narrow room, curtains and wall hangings defining the small space, frozen in a formal and ceremonial pose, eyes directed to the observer. In another picture, a woman standing, seemingly lost in thought, is reminiscent of a Vermeer genre painting in which the seemingly spontaneous moment of a domestic scene captured served as a allegorical statement on social and moral issues.
On closer inspection, however, we find ourselves in the throes of a riddle.
These portraits may seem to follow the rules of the classic in their construction but they refuse to be accordingly decoded. The person in the tightly bound corset, hair artfully draped, is obviously a man. The attributes surrounding him – artichokes and framed sausages hanging on strings – shun iconographical meaning as do the berries and empty masks in the ostensible Virgin Mary portrayal.The classical composition and allusion to recognised genres in form and style suggest that the pictures can be traditionally read but the symbolic context remains inaccessible.
Konstanze Habermann’s medium is photography. The expectation and belief that photography depicts reality and is ergo: real is a truth long since refuted.
A photograph is not a depiction of the world but the creation of its own reality. While this realisation puts to question the expectations of documentary photography in reproducing the world, it allows dramatised photography to appear more authentic. If photography is not depicting ‘the truth’, then the conscious creation of its own reality, divorced from the real world, must be permitted.
Against this background, an attempt to decode the symbols presented in these works as a means of iconographical interpretation seems unnecessary or even meaningless. There is no personification or allegory depicted in the pictures that is universally recognisable as general knowledge or general cultural expression.
These works are pictorial realisations of the author’s imagination and as such, they become their own reality, visible to the beholder.
Several of Habermann’s pieces remind us that the reality of pure fantasy does not have to remain that of a single person, presented to others for viewing only: minotaurs, satyrs and elves are examples of imaginary creatures that have become a part of our world beyond their actual material existence.
When a reality, created of imagination and fantasy, is shared by so many, it becomes a common truth.
2006 - Florida Art Hotel „Twins“ (with Olav Wittenberg)
2006 - Atelier Erwin Kneißl „Druschba“
2007 - Galerie Linda „Druschba“ (with Sylvie Hohlbbaum)
2007 - Powergallery L.A. „Lovesons“
2010 – Polarraum „Chimären“
2010 – S.v. Utrecht Hamburg „Art Loves You“
2010 – Bismarckstr. Hamburg „Powerhouse“
2011 – Polarraum „Asebeia“
2012 – Galerie Kai Erdmann „Oberon“
2013 – Millerntorgallery 3 „Asebeia“
2013 – Helium Cowboys „Follow Up“
2013 – Kunstverein Montez „Wurzeln weit mehr Aufmerksamkeit widmen“
2013 – Galerie Kai Erdmann „Hamburger Bahnhof“
2014 – Polarraum „Lithium“
2015 - Art Eats You „Mutter“ (with Adelaida Cue-Bär)
2015 – Millerntorgallery 5 „Browsky Palace“ (with Adelaida Cue-Bär)
2015 – Artville „Browsky Palace“ (with Adelaida Cue-Bär)
2015 – Altes Schwimmbad Luzern „NeuSicht“
2016 – Affenfaust Galerie „Mixed Company“ (with Adelaida Cue-Bär)
2016 – Holzmarkt 25 „Browsky Palace“ (with Adelaida Cue-Bär)
2017 – Polarraum „Quantum Levitation“
2018 – Galerie Melike Bilir „Die Neue Mona Lisa“
2018 – Galerie Kai Erdmann „Toy Bitches Fuck Off“
2018 – Kunsthalle Lüneburg „Black Box“
2018 – Millerntorgallery 8 „Chapel Of Thirst“