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Joachim Koester

Morning of the Magicians and other works

January 13 - February 25 2006

It is a great pleasure for Galleri Nicolai Wallner to present "Morning of the Magicians and other works", an exhibition with new works by Joachim Koester. The exhibition will include five photographic series: "Morning of the Magicians", "The Kant Walks", "histories", "The Brecht House", and "From the travel of Jonathan Harker".

For "Morning of the Magicians" Koester travelled to Cefalù, Sicily, in search of the villa that once served as a communal home for the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley and his group of devotees. Koester found the long abandoned building in a ruined state, buried in bushes, and all but one window boarded shut. Inside, the walls were covered with graffiti, leaving Crowley's drug-heavy and sexually explicit frescos visible only through several layers of peeling paint. For Koester, the building functioned as one of the few monuments in what is largely an invisible history.

In the fall of 2003, Koester visited Immanuel Kant's hometown of Kaliningrad, formerly known as Königsberg, to trace the route of the philosopher's daily walk, using it as a script for a series of photographs. However, the process was complicated by the city's tumultuous past. Heavily damaged during World War II, then in 1945 conquered by the Soviet Union, the city was subject to a policy of erasure that functioned until 1991 to suppress its German past. The series explore the city as a sort of terrain vague, a place both denying and caught by its own history.

The series "histories" documents both the history of conceptual photography, and the change time brings on places and events depicted. Koester has visited the scenes of works by Ed Ruscha, Robert Adams, Robert Smithson, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Hans Haacke and photographed them today.
Through the apparently simple act of juxtaposition time and history become material.

In "From the Travel of Jonathan Harker" Koester follows the trail of the protagonist of Bram Stoker's Dracula, through the Borgo Pass, only to find in the fabled Transylvania: suburban sprawl, illegal logging, and a tourist hotel called Castle Dracula.

Joachim Koester has shown extensively at galleries and museums in Europe, USA, and Asia including MCA (Chicago), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (Paris), PS1 (New York), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), and Louisiana (Humlebæk). His work has been exhibited at the Kwangju Biennale, Documenta Kassel, and Venice Biennale.

We are happy to welcome you in the gallery.

With kind regards,

Galleri Nicolai Wallner