coming up:
Anja Bohnhof: Books for Sale

opening with artist talk: Sunday, November 3, 6.30pm

reading by Andrea Maria Schenkel, November 8, 8pm

As part of LesArt - 17th Literature Festival Ansbach

Flying in the face of pronouncements declaring that the arrival of the digital age heralds the imminent end of the era of the printed book, millions of publications are piled up at the printers' in Kolkata's university quarter, with more being produced and brought out every day by numerous local publishing houses, both large and small. This means that you can get any book you want in the area around College Street: more than 5,000 bookshops offer a range of new and second-hand books, and the titles run the gamut from the writings of Karl Marx to Islamic prose and current textbooks.

But Kolkata is characterized by more than just the love of reading. The metropolis is India's third largest software exporter, so it plays a significant part in the developments that have led all across the world to the digitization of more and more areas of our lives, a process that at the very least poses a challenge to the continued existence of the book as a physical object.

For all that, there is still a great deal of respect for the printed word, which is not simply the product of people's high regard for education and knowledge. For West Bengalis, who have lived in poverty for many decades, material goods have a fundamental value and are prized to an extent that is inconceivable in affluent societies. This respect is borne out by the numerous bookstalls that flank the streets. They look to all intents and purposes like pieces of improvised architecture constructed out of books, with space, it would seem, for every work that has ever been published.

These bookshops are central to my photographic work. By applying formal criteria involving the use of large-format photographs, single objects become the centre of focus and direct comparisons can be made between all the pictures within the series. There are no people to be seen in these shots and their "emptiness" and precise sense of detail are contrasted with the busy scenes of everyday life in College Street and the backstreets that lead off it. This special place in Calcutta expresses its knowledge and respect for the cultural value of the printed book in every bookstand, even in the smallest and simplest.


Friday, 8.11., 20.00
Reading: Anna Maria Schenkel, the author of "Tannöd" reads from her recent book "Täuscher"

Guided tours:
Saturday, 9.11., 15-18.00
Sunday, 24.11.,11-17.00 (part of the Christmas-market at Kammerspiele)
Sunday, 5. 1., 15-18.00

Additional opening hours after appointment, usually during office hours, Mon-Fri 9-16.00

In context of:
LesArt - 17th Literature Festival Ansbach

With kind support by Michael Sichelstiel

LOFT Raum für Kunst & Gegenwart © kunst I konzepte