For over two decades, the Düsseldorf-based artist Ulrich Hensel has been working on his photographic oeuvre with vehement stringency and a high concentration on predominantly one motif, namely construction sites. These are places where technical, economic, and not least of all cultural activities culminate and which speak in dense descriptions of the sociology of the materials of the world.
The photographed construction sites may appear as though they have been found by chance, but they have actually been carefully selected in lengthy research tours through urban landscapes. The photographs are focused “construction scapes” and testify in a highly condensed manner to human activities in the much-quoted era of the Anthropocene. In addition to a fascination with the “crime scene” of the construction site, however, the locations depicted are basically also a pretext for Hensel to be able to work painterly in and with his photographs—as demonstrated by the often-extensive color fields of the most diverse building materials. It is precisely through such painterly fields of color that the photographs reveal a medial correspondence. They are often nearly abstract, at times minimalist: grids, dots, mounting devices, iron grids, everything spreads—due to the respective function—stringently across the pictorial surface, lending it a sense of rhythm. Ulrich Hensel’s works represent a singular position in the photo-art scene. With the exhibition In-Between Worlds, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presents a first museum overview of this very special photographic work.
Curator: Andreas Beitin
Credits: Ulrich Hensel, Düsseldorf Grünstraße, 1998 © Ulrich Hensel