Work in focus

Candida Höfer

Kistenlager Schaan I, 2021
C-Print, 184 × 149 cm


In her photography, Candida Höfer presents objects that are easy to identify, yet their specific function is by no means obvious. In a deserted storage room, boxes of uniform red color stand close together, in two shelving rows as well as at the end of an intermediate aisle, both next to and on top of each other. The order's strictness is aesthetically accentuated by the axis symmetric and central perspective view into the room. Although they vary in size, the boxes' unified color scheme implies the unified purpose they are meant to serve. Candida Höfer's artistic interest in places serving the cultural memory of human societies, such as archives, libraries, museums, or theaters, also motivated her to take the present photograph. But instead of looking at the “show side” of culture, her gaze was directed to what lies behind it.

On display are boxes belonging to a private art collection in Liechtenstein, which are used to transport works of various genera and materials. They are climate-controlled containers, securely and sturdily equipped, which guarantee even the most delicate works of art a protective shell on their way to an exhibition venue, such as a museum. They are empty and are activated only when needed. In their static appearance, which is certainly powerfully enlivened by the intense red, they not only convey a strong image of material order, but at the same time provide information about the secondary aspects of the art business. Above all, however, they are evidence of the careful handling of cultural assets that for generations, privately and publicly, has contributed to sensual pleasure and spiritual insight.

Uwe Wieczorek


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© Hilti Art Foundation

Copyright of images
© Candida Höfer, Cologne / 2022, Pro Litteris, Zurich
© Archivio Gianni Colombo, Milan
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich
© Henriette Coray Loewensberg, 8001 Zurich
© 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich for works of Günter Fruhtrunk, Imi Knoebel, Gotthard Graubner und Helmut Federle.
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