Exhibition: 5 Stationen (5 Stations)

01 STATION | AMERICA (Schneckenhof Ost, second floor)

“It is the Cinemascope format, the format of big landscape photographs which draw us into American western movies and substantially contribute to their long-term effect. Even if we have long forgotten the plot, the images of vastness and openness stay with us. The American movies in our minds play in Cinemascope and Technicolor. Or, in more prosaic terms: It is the format of Horst Hamann’s panoramic camera that gives the images that American aura. His technique requires the opposite of snapshots of lively moving moments; It needs to be built up carefully and calmly in such a way that the large part of the picture is shaped and becomes meaningful.”
Prof. Dr. Kaspar Maase | University of Tübingen

02 STATION | Mannheim (Mittelbau east entrance, ground floor)

“Horst Hamann's gift for the selective view, his ability to filter out the central motive from the flood of simultaneous image impressions and to bring it to the best possible image composition at the moment of the shot, is also to some extent the foundation for his work complexes of vertical photographs that followed only a few years later. Horst Hamann’s procedure also involves photography before photography. Looking at his work, you sometimes get the impression that the “Vertical Views” just fell into his photographic lap. It is certainly more correct to understand Horst Hamann's photographic development as a creation of visual experience tested through projects, coupled with curiosity, a desire for photographic experimentation, and an inclination towards pictorial perfectionism.”
Dr. Friedrich W. Kasten | Galerie Kasten Mannheim

03 STATION | NEW YORK VERTICAL (Mittelbau Ost, first floor)

“New York's skyline and its magnificent horizons have never been more precisely staged than in the photographs of Horst Hamann. Dramatic camera angles in the composition of the image make New York seem like a city of sky-high ambitions. In 1979, the German artist traveled to New York for the first time. Ten years later, Horst Hamann moved to New York and began his 20-year photographic study of Manhattan and its lofty buildings. All over the world, skyscrapers provide a visual point of interest in urban city centers. Over the years, Manhattan became a symbol for this monumental architecture. “New York became my passion,” Hamann remembers his first photographic encounters and commissions as an artist. Today it is difficult to imagine New York as something else than the powerful city Hamann portrays in his collection “New York Vertical”. Hamann rotates his Linhof Technorama panoramic camera by 90 degrees, opening up entirely new perspectives. By breaking with tradition, he manages to present New York's vertical profile in an impressive portrait format. Hamann’s eye for composing dramatic and mathematically precise shots gives his photographs a unique character.”
Melissa Rachleff | Museum of the City of New York

04 STATION | Eyes Wide Shut | NYC (Mittelbau, Hasso Plattner Library)

“It does not matter, how Horst Hamann managed to get a hundred New Yorkers to do something very unusual: close their eyes in front of a stranger in broad daylight. The reactions of the participants in the randomly assembled group “Vertical New Yorkers” vary accordingly. While some consider the situation as an opportunity to be part of an art project, others fear it. One participant is convinced she will be deceived, whereas another participant sees it as a great chance. New York finds itself exactly between these two extremes. The photographer Diane Arbus once wrote: “When you see someone on the street, what you recognize is not perfect.” However, Horst Hamann is a completely different New York photograph than Diane Aerbus was. He also has another perception than the German photographer August Sander had. For Hamann, there are no freaks or stereotypical characters in New York. His photographs are not photographs of other people. They rather show ourselves.”
Roger Conover | MIT Press

05 STATION | Vertical Views (Ehrenhof Ost corridor, first floor)

“If classic photos are like windows, then the “Vertical Views” by Horst Hamann can be compared with narrow and high doors. A few of these doors seem to swing open outward, others open inward. Some are open just a crack. These are the ones that are approached hesitantly. Most of them, however, seem almost inviting, like wide-open, permeable floodgates, subtly drawing the viewer into the space. And not just the eyes, but the viewer as a whole, as a vertical subject. No one has to climb and gain entrance through a narrow visual or intellectual opening with Horst Hamann’s photographs. What is impressive about the portrait format photos is their openness and accessibility. This peculiarity is based on the seemingly simple and formalistic rotation of the classic panoramic camera from the horizontal to the vertical. With that simple, but groundbreaking, and in its effect completely surprising rotation, the window becomes a door.”
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bee | “Das Prickeln entlang der Wirbelsäule” (“The tingling along the spine”) Vertical Views 2001