I am born in Kempten, Germany, in 1970. I graduated in 1994 in Architecture in Wurzburg, Germany. During my studies I lived in Paris, Stockholm and Brussels and had my first solo exhibitions in paintings. In 1994 I moved to Berlin and started in 1998 the photo project “A friend is a friend of a friend” and traveled with it the world for four years. Other art projects like “ideal city”, “south side beats Tel Aviv”, father trilogy and many more followed. I exhibited my work in London, Berlin, Tirana, Venice, Paris, Arles, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. For most of my works I use black and white photography shot with a middle format camera. Since 2001 I travel for longer periods to Israel and lived there from 2007 till 2010. I am currently based in Berlin.
Berlin, August 2013About me
a friend is a friend In the last couple of years acquaintances and networks have been discussed in the media excessively. These local connections seemed charming and were the save havens as anti-poles to the impending threats of globalisation. Birgit Glatzel looks beyond this scenario produced. In June 1998 she started her foray that led her from Berlin around the globe to friends, their friends and friends of their friends. This succession ended in Warsaw in June 2002. The artistic method is nearly classical: all portraits are handheld shots made with a vintage Rolleiflex 6 x 6 camera, model 1937. She spends a day with the friends she meets and takes photographs of them in their everyday surroundings, preferably their apartments. In Birgit Glatzel’s project lines of friends are documented based on reference: „My friends are your friends!“. Each person knows their friend but never the complete line. 340 persons, from 36 cities and 19 countries are part of the net and have been preserved on film.
|programming||Hennink Stöve and Ariel Almos|
|graphics||Tine Gundelach from studio grau|
|2002||Aroma Gallery in Berlin / Germany / curated by Oliver Baurhenn|
|2003/ 04||The Israeli Centre for Digital Art / Digital ArtLab / Israel / curated by Galit Eilat|
|2005||Fortunestreet in London / England / curated by Richard Village|
publications and press:
|2004||presentation at the ifa gallery in Berlin I Germany|
|2004||french magazine REDUX|
|2001||42°, Israeli Magazine|
|2001||Daily newspaper from Reykjavik|
An e-book is in planning
Ideal City A city cannot be planed. The design of a city is an adventure caused by its spontaneous genesis made possible by the cooperation of computers and brains. There is more than one ideal city. Probably there are as many ideal cities as human minds. (Makoto Sei Watanabe)
Kroc-gu-fant by Sara Ball is a children’s flip-book book that allows one to forge utterly strange creatures out of limbs of existing animals; a crocodile head attached to a jaguar’s body and elephant feet virtually constitute a new species.
Ideal City expands this concept to urban features. It creates a framework of discrete public spaces in one image. The Project displays constructions, environments and features located in cities worldwide classified into three categories that are essential for modern living: commerce, traffic, recreation. Using a computer interface the user creates his favourite city by combining public spaces of his choice. Brandenburg Gate might border the beach of Tel Aviv. Kikka Hamedina, Tel Aviv’s popular shopping plaza, could neighbour Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. The application enables one to build the favourite place to live.
Ideal City joins global cities in one locality. The process of creating an amalgam of unacquainted environments fades the peculiarity of any given specific location and focuses its social and historical values. When set in an unforeseen relation to each other stigmata of the traditional context vanish as new relationships unexpectedly coalesce.
Ideal City is an ongoing modular project. Two cities initiate the project: Berlin and Tel Aviv. Further cities will be enclosed in future project exhibitions. Throughout the exhibition, noteworthy places of the hosting town are incorporated and added to the framework, the number of documented places will increase continuously.
|2004||Architectre Biennale in Venice / Israeli Pavilion, Italy / curated by|
|Ganit Mayslits Kassif and Ehud Kassif|
|2004||Presentation at the ifa gallery in Berlin / Germany|
|2003||Art Biennale in Tirana / Albania / curated by Stephanie Benzaquen|
Black Sheep_Berlin In 2005 I heard from Oliver Rihs independent film project “black sheep”. I wanted to participate asset fotographer and we decided to take care of this topic in a very different way: ” … using a Leica MP Birgit Glatzel took photographs that were more than just mirror images of the film’s scenes and camera angles. Both, stylistically and formally they go their own way. The viewer is consciously kept in the dark as to whether he is in the world of the reportage, the art, the portraits or the film. The borders were meant to be blurred but also to be discovered. Between cameraman and director, actors and set people, Birgit Glatzel went on a perceptive search for the energy sources in front of and behind the camera and so bestowed her pictures with life. Her images move constantly between fiction and documentation: where is the stage – where the reality behind it? Where is the life – where the art? Birgit Glatzel’s experimental film set photography delivers unexpected insights. And so, despite its artistic independence – or perhaps just because of it – it achieves the actual sense and purpose of set photography: to whet one’s appetite for more.”…
|2006||portofolio for Leica Fotografie International LFI / issue lfi-4/2006|
|photos: birgit glatzel / text: Oliver Rihs|
|Project:||documentary 2005; black and white photographs; analog|
South Side Beats_ TEL AVIV The Clubbing Scene of Tel Aviv is fairly new baby. In this humid, filthy, and noisy city on the Mediterranean, club culture only arose in the early 90s, when the peace treaty stated that people would soon be living normal lives. Meanwhile, the Clubs of Israel have become places where this normal life is a manifestation of conflict, longing, passion, and rushes. Today, smaller clubs in the souths of Tel Aviv pursuer less commercial interests and are anchored in every day city life. Here one finds people doing their own thing, living and partying, spending their evenings together an getting on. In May and June 2004, Birgit Glatzel returned to Israel to photograph her Dj friends and some of their friends, to tell one of many Tel Aviv stories. For two months she lived a life with six young Israelis, capturing the intensity and drive which they brought into her lives.
|2004||portofolio for Leica Fotografie International LFI / issue lfi-8/2004|
|photos: birgit glatzel / text: mirjam wenzel|
An e-book is in planning
Project: documentary 2004; black and white photographs; analog
Follow up: documentary since 2012; black and white photographs; analog plus coloured photographs and video; digital
Father Triology 2006. Since many years the questions of who am I? Where do I come from? And what is the package I am born with? are circling through my brain.
Within those questions I started with an intensive search by tacking my father’s traces. I went on a trip to the place where he was born, I included sometimes his fotographs in my work and red his script of a book about the years during the Second World War, which he wrote in 1983.
Three projects came out of this search which I named the “Father Triology”
sports sounds 2005 People see me as a “tom boy”, no wonder, I grew up in a “man’s world”, like I have three brothers and five male cousins. I was supposed to be the princess of the family, but I got treated the opposite, already my hair was always short and I wanted to get dressed like my brothers and play with them soccer, or help my dad to cut a tree and make big Saturday fires.
My mum tried to educate me as the perfect housewife and join even one of these schools, like she did. I hated this idea from the first beginning and at home I was supposed to wash the dishes while my brothers could help my dad. This did not look right to me, so I fought for equal rights for everybody. My older brother came then up with a “work list” and it functioned quite well….
Later on I studied Architecture and had my first single art exhibition at the age of 20. Till now I keep on dealing with “ both lives” and some others.
My latest project “sport sounds” gets back to my childhood issue with soccer and the “classical” man sports. The power of these games and the atmosphere in stadiums are attractive to me in a new way. I‘m interested in this very special atmosphere, of “burning pot” and I want to keep it in one picture in combination with sound, somehow minimalized to the basics of human senses.
For the first time I will work together with the Israeli musician and sound artist Ido Goverin.
Birgit Glatzel / sound: Idor Goverin
|2005||woman festival at the theatre Holon / Israel curated by Sigal Weissbein|
Ismail kick boxer 2006 Getting inspired by my previous project, sports sound, I continued with the idea of taking care on sports. During a party Ismail crossed my way, introduced through a friend. He was in his full preparation for his fight, which was the fight for the title of the world champion chip in heavy weight for kick boxing in Vienna. Ismail liked the idea of documenting in black and white his preparation for the fight including the final fight in Vienna. I started to come to his training studio in Neukölln in Berlin. I entered a complete new world of concentration, strengths discipline and hope. At the same time I needed to get prepared in order to follow with my analogue cameras the fight and the speed of the movements. On top of it I was very nervous about the fact of the possibility of shooting blood and heavy injury. At the same time I knew that the eye through the camera will help me. During the fight I could feel that Ismail will not win. I started to take down the camera and shouted for him.
|Project:||documentary 2006; black and white fotographs; analog|
Musical Chairs, Going to Jerusalem
Running in circles,
when the music stops:
find a seat or you’re out.
This Game is known as
Musical Chairs, Going to Jerusalem
or in German Reise nach Jerusalem.
Daydreaming… I’m off. I’m going.
Stop squatting on your rock – still, unmoving.
Take a day off. Or many?
Go with your best friend and run.
Ready, steady, go!
Did I have this dream before?
The holy city in the holy land,
firmly bricked to the ground *,
a tourist’s souvenir,
touring the world.
* „Fest gemauert in der Erden“ /
„firmly bricked to the ground“
(F. Schiller, the bell)
Exposé of an imaginary journey by Birgit Glatzel and Benjamin Seide / 2005 / video, 3:30 min
You and Me is an ongoing project, where I photograph myself together with a closed friend.
It is up to the friend to decide where our foto will be taken. The setting is kept very easy. I come with a tripod, a manual remote – control release and my camera, the Rolleiflex, a middle format camera.
Instead of being as usual behind the camera I put myself together with the friend in front of the camera.
I started the project in summer 2007 in Berlin, right before I decided to move to Tel Aviv, with the idea to take a very special memory of my best friends with me. Meanwhile I moved back to Berlin. I did the same shootings in Tel Aviv and so on.
|Project:||ongoing since 2007; black and white photographs; analog|