Galerie Hilaneh von Kories will present a collection of images by photographer Andreas Deffner who has captured people in India with the rare genetic disorder in a new light.
Galerie Hilaneh von Kories is pleased to announce the exhibit »White, Too White« with images by photographer Andreas Deffner. His portraits of people affected by albinism will be shown in the gallery rooms in Hamburg from August 24 until December 15, 2006.
Albinism is considered to be the first genetic disorder ever recognized. It is caused by a body's lack of ability to form the pigment melanin. The pigmentation of iris and choroid may also be deficient, allowing light to penetrate directly through the structures of the eye rather than only through the pupil - the main reason for a heightened sensitivity towards the exposure of sunlight.
It was a meeting with a person with albinism from Pondicherry in Southern India that inspired Andreas Deffner to persue his remarkable artistic endeavor. He spent four years finding people from different walks of life and took his images in a specially designed, moveable daylight studio, where they also were interviewed by Indian sociologist Tejas Joseph.
The visual vocabulary of the color photos in the exhibit »White, Too White«, some of which come in large format, is strikingly vivid and bold. The strong light-skinned man with a crew cut and bright eyes: he is an Indian? The small ethereal looking girl with white blond curly hair and the angel-like, nordic looking boy with blue eyes and milky skin: they are Indian as well? And what about the old blonde lady with a captivating complexion and the odd-looking white dappled skin? You are curious and want to take a closer look, but you feel timid at the same time. Meanwhile, the people in those portraits - photographed in front of a white background - display directness and openness. We are allowed to marvel at their beauty and their courage, and to study the alien character of their blotchy skin. We feel the sensitivity of their eyes, which are filled with pain.
Andreas Deffner explains the thought process behind his project: »I wanted to show how physical appearance becomes center stage when I, as a photographer, recognize and respect that person. I changed the viewpoint of people with albinism. Usually, they are being looked at. In my pictures they act as themselves and look at the spectator. In my mind, photography can assist in raising awareness for minorities and the problems they are facing, of which most people have no idea.«
|Two Families, Four Plates|
Andreas Deffner, born in 1959, studied photography and has been working as a free-lance photographer from 1980 on. After living in Paris and Hamburg for many years, he moved to Berlin. In 1992 he made Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India, his second home.
→ Andreas Deffner: V. Hemalatha, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 125 x 100 cmOpen image galleryAndreas Deffner: Balamurugan, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 65 x 50 cmAndreas Deffner: N. Shankar, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 65 x 50 cmAndreas Deffner: M. Ravi, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 65 x 50 cmAndreas Deffner: Dhana, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 65 x 50 cmAndreas Deffner: S. Mahesh, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 65 x 50 cmAndreas Deffner: V. P. Sekar, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 65 x 50 cmAndreas Deffner: Tamilselvi, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 160 x 120 cmAndreas Deffner: S. P. Arul, 2005
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 160 x 120 cmAndreas Deffner: Vengadesan, 2002
C-Print on Alu-DIBOND, ca. 155 x 120 cm
White, too white
A Portrait of Albinism in India
August 24 to December 15 2006
Vernissage: August 23, 2008, 19:00h | Laudatio: Prof. Klaus Honnef
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 14:00–19:00h and by appointment
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