Christian Borchert (1942–2000) – Familienporträts


November 23, 2019 – February 15, 2020

Opening: November 22, 2019, 7 – 9 pm


Christian Borchert (1942–2000) started working on the series ‘Familienporträts’ (1983-1985/1993-1994) in the late 1970s. He initially photographed his friends and then, upon meeting sociologist and writer Irene Runge in 1982, who asked him to illustrate ‘Ganz in Familie’, began to take an interest in the social constructions of East German families. Owing to his work with Runge, Borchert received financial support from the Kulturbund der DDR to photograph more than one hundred families from different backgrounds and locations, ranging from Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Magdeburg, Hoyerswerda, and Mecklenburg to the island of Rugen. Borchert’s series of photographs captures nuclear families surrounded by their personal belongings and points to the diversity that existed under socialism. After German reunification, Borchert photographed the same families in 1993/94 again, this time with the support of the Kunstfonds. Using the same camera, focal length, and horizontal format, his images not only present a strong conceptual and formal narrative, but also reveal the passage of time and changes in family structures.

In cooperation with the Deutsche Fotothek, the Loock Galerie is publishing a portfolio of 50 photographs of the series ‘Familienporträts’, which forms the core of the exhibition. The Loock Galerie will also include highlights from the photographer’s street and fashion photography from the 1970s and 1980s.

Christian Borchert was born in Dresden and was active there and in East Berlin. His first retrospective, ‘The Tectonics of Remembrance’, is currently taking place at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and other venues in Dresden and will remain open until March 8, 2020. His works belong in the following collections: Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Kupferstich-Kabinett); Die Photographische Sammlung/SK-Stiftung Kultur, Cologne; the  Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Frankfurt/Main; and Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf.

On Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 4pm Loock Galerie will at once host a talk with Dr. Bertram Kaschek (Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden) and Inka Schube (Sprengel Museum Hannover) and the second book launch of ‘Christian Borchert. The Tectonics of Remembrance’ (Spector Books, Leipzig 2020).