In the 1960s, photography not only aided but also complemented the then-emerging forms of performance and action. It was at that time that German artists like Floris Neusüss began to pioneer new photographic forms such as his body photograms, life-size imprints on photographic paper. In doing so, he anticipated performative practices. While Neusüss made models act, Klaus Rinke performed himself before the camera. In Primary Demonstrations, he explores a variety of human gestures, movements and actions, thus probing the dynamic relationship between time, space and body. Likewise, the most important instrument in Dieter Appelt’s photographic research is the artist’s own body. Since the early 1970s, Jürgen Klauke has been working with a strong focus on the transformation of the self and questions of identity and gender. Playfulness with a metaphysical twist, meanwhile, characterizes the photographic series of Anna and Bernhard Blume.
The strong impact of the body in recent German photography bears witness to this complex process of interrogation: The artists visually grapple with their existence and identity, questioning not only everyday conventions, but also the potential of photography itself.