After 2004 and 2006 we are happy to present with „Contemplation" the third solo exhibition of the wonderful photographic work of Donata Wenders. Different to the previous exhibitions at Galerie f5,6 „Contempaltion" is dedicated to one genre only – Portraits. The show is curated to show and put focus on Wenders unique photographs of unknown and famous female personalities, among them Milla Jovovich, Pina Bausch and Nayoung Kim.
Wenders, who originally studied Cinematography, Film and Theatre in Berlin and Stuttgart and only later approached professional photography, succeeded in developing her own individual and atmospheric pictorial language. Inspired by the work of Pictorialists like Edward Steichen or Alfred Stieglitz, she is depicting her subjects in more than the usual documenting photographic process since she manages to add an ethereal quality to each image. Wenders often uses extreme light conditions, so that the contrast of light and shadow becomes a central position in her pictures. In her black and white as well as in her colour photography, of which there are few and those are being shown fort he first time at Galerie f5,6, she uses the in photography so dearly needed light in her own sensible and almost magic way. This at times auratic use of light especially enriches her Portraits. A protective shield woven out of light and shadow losely embraces the portrayed women and even in the most intimate scenes this means that the person and personality is never in risk of being exploited.
The subject is allowed and able to sink deep into a contemplative state of mind – become oneself completely. Siri Hustvedt, often photographed by Wenders put that experience in words in the foreword she wrote for Donata Wenders publications „Islands of Silence":
„ when Donata took pictures of me, I felt an ease I have rarely felt, a willingness to simply be in her presence, without selfconsciousness or anxiety. Looking closely at the faces and bodies in this book, I understand that I was one among many, that her other subjects were also able to be alone and in her company at the same time."
The outer world, time and place loses all of its importance- not through the medium or its possibilities but because of Donata Wenders way of approaching people. a brief moment is cast into something eternal.
Due to Donatas empathism as well as enthusiasm for people, their mimic and gestures she succeeds in making a deep connection with her counterpart. Her images are a mirror for that trust, intimacy and respect. rarely one can get so close to a portraited person without having to resort to voyerism.