The Ritual Memories of Iwajla Klinke

published in: Photography By Yatzer, 11 March 2011

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photo © Iwajla Klinke
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TYX Projects Berlin present the first German solo exhibition of Berlin based photographer and filmmaker Iwajla Klinke which will consist largely of works from her »Ritual Memories« series, as well as related photographic works.

At the heart of Iwajla Klinke’s work is a fascination with the sacred and the ways in which it manifests itself in bodily adornments. The work utilizes classical portraiture as a departure point for exploring the cross-sections between identity construction and spirituality. Her subjects typically appear shirtless or nude, stylized with accessories denoting ritual and devotion, though the signification can rarely be assigned to one single faith. Her costumes serve as appendages to the bodies of her subjects, and can take the form of carnal matter (fish, birds, badminton balls and worms have all been used) or traditional ritual cloths and silk. With their stern gaze and often classical poses, the works call to mind early Netherlandish portraiture. In sum, they seem to have emerged from some parallel universe, spirits from an after-life that is markedly human in design.

photo © Iwajla Klinke

Klinke’s work process is both intimate and intensive. Her eye for unconventional beauty is instantly recognizable in surveying her portfolio of models, who overwhelmingly tend to be positioned at that precious point just beyond adolescence, or else retain some aspect of youthfulness well into adulthood. The costume is prepared prior to the photo session, oftentimes in concert with the model, and the shoot takes place against a wall in her apartment in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, assisted by natural light.  Klinke’s photo shoots can take several hours and produce hundreds of photographs, among which the artist selects a single one, which is rarely touched-up or post-processed. In her approach, Iwajla Klinke thus rates among the most organic practitioners of digital photography.

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

photo © Iwajla Klinke

Iwajla Klinke (* 1976) is a Berlinbased photographer and filmmaker. She studied Political Science, Jewish Studies, and Islamic Studies at Free University in Berlin and worked as a freelance journalist for many years before directing her first film, »Moskobiye«, in 2004. Her second film, »The Raging Grannies Anti Occupation Club«, was released to critical acclaim in 2007. In recent years, Klinke has devoted herself to photography, gaining a wide following for her efforts on the Internet. This is the first major exhibition to explore her prolific photographic work.

photo © Iwajla Klinke

Ritual Memories - Iwajla Klinke
23 March – 20 April 2011
STYX Projects
Berlin
The Old Brewery, Landsberger Allee 54 // 10249 Berlin, Germany

sources:

STYX Projects Berlin

  • friend
    kate | 2011-03-12 13:27:24

    art in poor taste.

  • friend
    fr | 2014-01-24 15:08:19

    Those are not called badminton "balls". They are badminton birdies.

  • friend
    kiki | 2014-03-13 14:32:43

    Her models are not very handsome...

  • friend
    Katk | 2014-03-23 22:43:32

    Very beautiful and sensitive photos... I am sad about poor taste comments left here earlier.

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