Name: Lena Engel
ExtractArt on Lena's works:
Lena became the first artist to come on board our platform - her book NullAchtNeun (available here for just €19.90) was the first major publication for the publishing house, so an important step into getting established.
The series with which she obtained her Postgraduate's degree from the Ostkreuz School of Photography in Berlin invokes a documentary style, but does not go as far as to negate the photographer's connection to the story. The title, which translates to ZeroEightNine is a reference to the dial prefix for Munich. Opposed to the style of documentary that aims to achieve a form of neutrality (e.g. Bernd & Hilla Becher), we see here this style of photography combined with a very personal connection.
We encounter a series of abandoned spaces, but because we link them to the city of Munich, we notice a clash with what we expected from this city. The images here are not what people think of when they think of Munich - Berlin, sure, but not the Bayern capital and economic stronghold.
In looking for these places, Lena focused on the out-of-common, spaces that were in transformation (that may not even exist now, only a short time after the images were taken). In the larger sense, this reflects our recurrent cycle of abandonment, destruction, and rebuilding. Some of the graffiti in the images warn people of that, but in this town, one just knows it will not take long for developers to occupy the space with something new.
There are good sides and bad sides to this transformation. Who doesn't like a bit of transformation? Lena's work reflects that - some places are indeed in dire need of repair, others, like the one below, show an example of a ship turned nightclub on an abandoned bridge, creating a unique view of the city.
As for the book, we wanted it also to represent something that you are not supposed to see (like abandoned buildings/spaces not being within our expectation of Munich's urban landscape), which is why we opted for the open spine, to reveal what is normally hidden. To further challenge people's standard expectations of the book, we took away the standard first blank page and title page and decided to start immediately with the images. You are thrown in, just like when you're walking around the city yourself, discovering new.
Artwork for sale
For the website and gallery, two works from her latest series Light_Scope were selected. Radically different from NullAchtNeun, these works explore almost graphic/abstract light experiences through photography. They are at the same time familiar and unfamiliar. We recognise them, but at the same time wonder what exactly happened here. This series is seen as a more metaphotographic work, where Lena uses a chiaroscuro framework to capture views that may not be visible to the naked eye, but only through the photographic lens.
This work is available here as a framed limited edition (10) archival pigment print on 100% cotton Hahnemühle paper for €1250 (inkl. 19% VAT). Each print is signed and comes with a certificate of authenticity.