Jürgen Baldiga: Hover

Venue: Cordova
Carrer de l'Encuny, 24
08014 Barcelona
Price: Free event
Exhibition

Hover is an exhibition of ten pairs of silver gelatin photographs by German artist, musician, poet, performer and activist Jürgen Baldiga. The images on display printed by the artist are pulled from his short but incredibly prolific eight year photographic career, starting in 1985, a year after his diagnosis of ‘an immune deficiency’ (HIV), and before his untimely death at the age of 34 in 1993 when he decided to end his own life because his recovery from AIDS was hopeless. Ranging from snapshots to staged portraits, the views are quotidian in that they document and preserve people and moments from his daily life and social scene: friends, lovers, strangers passing on the street, Berlin’s drag and music communities; depicting moments of intimacy, desire and tenderness, hospital stays, holidays; states of joy, longing, loss, and pain, all set against the social-political backdrop of German reunification.

This exhibition offers a mere glimpse into a rich archive of thousands more of his images, most of which are stored in the archive at The Schwules Museum, Berlin. These diptychs were originally compiled and paired by Baldiga for an artist’s book which served as a way to reflect and draw correlations. They stood out as a more direct line of communication with the artist in that there was a logic of relations set out through the action of pairing that gave insight into the way he saw and thought beyond the singular isolated picture.

Much has been written about photography’s relation to mortality from Barthes studium and punctum to Sontag’s discussion of the memento mori. There is a presupposition that Baldiga’s choice to begin photographing after receiving a fatal diagnosis was an attempt to grasp and make permanent something fleeting, a way of extending an otherwise inevitable process of disintegration.

Jürgen Baldiga: Hover