Photographs inside the homeless shelter of Weimar, germany.
When an earthquake shook Haiti in january 2010, Margitta started a fundraising campaign among her neighbors in the homeless shelter Weimar, which she called "Two beers for Haiti".
The Idea was for every resident to drink two beers less a day. She collected a total of 15 Euros.
For several months the artist Nathalie Mohadjer took photographs in a homeless shelter in Weimar. She spent a great deal of time with the residents, but never tried to hide her identity as an outside visitor. Her photographs hence suggest at once closeness and distance. The viewer can sense an ambivalence in them that is as fascinating as it is touching. Mohadjer’s artistic strategy and choice of motifs rely on careful arrangements and a sensitivity to quiet, shy gestures, along with the use of (extra) light and clear pictorial compositions. Her formal and aesthetic language may be nothing unusual in the art world, but nowhere else it is applied to the same themes, social conditions and corresponding objects and people as the ones that interest Mohadjer.
»The photographs from Nathalie Mohadjer’s series Zwei Bier für Haiti are not portraits in the conventional sense. Notwith- standing their individual destinies and their names in the captions, the people depicted remain for the viewer merely types of people he might also encounter in other homeless shelters or on the street. No individual case studies are conducted here and unfurled photo- graphically. And it might seem only a matter of passing interest that these homeless people in fact live in Weimar, an almost museum-like small town in Thuringia that attracts thousands of tourists primarily due to its “classics” pedigree. Certainly, a homeless shelter does not fit in very well with the city’s marketing concept, and yet it is well-known that Weimar – which happens to be where the artist studied – is a place of even more extre- me contradictions. Nonetheless, Nathalie Mohadjer’s photo series should not be regarded as the result of a subversive action.« (Silke Opitz)
You can purchase the book at Kehrer Verlag
Exhibition view of Museum Kunsthalle Weimar, germany 2012.