My First Photography Exhibition

Benni (head of the KATAPULT Magazine) on the right and myself left.

Friday the 11th of October was the day. Long-term planning and rather short-term realization culminated in the opening of my first exhibition at the Café Koeppen. 🤗

Considering that I ordered the photos only a week before the exhibition, I was lucky that they arrived on time and undamaged. As it would have been too expensive to print them on photographic paper, I had them printed as posters. One 20 × 30 cm, four 40 × 40 cm and five 50 × 70 cm.

In the days before the opening, I was hectic and excited. After all, there were lots of posters around town and friends had been invited, so I hoped everything would go smoothly. As a result, I was more relaxed when all the photos were on the walls the day before the opening. It took longer than I thought – I had to clean the frames, center the photos and find a suitable arrangement in the room (I hadn’t thought about which picture should go on which wall). It took more than three hours.

The pictures hang on the wall and the light is adjusted.

The same evening as the exhibition, I baked and made spreads because I wanted to have a small buffet for the opening. My friend helped me a lot – her ideas like the chocolate covered fruit skewers were a treat for everyone. 😋

I left work at 3pm on the opening day and prepared the rest of the buffet at home, taking it to Café Koeppen just after 6pm. Time was running out. Luckily, a friend spontaneously offered to help me with the canapés and the buffet.

Even though everything went well until then, I was quite nervous at this point, as I still had to give the opening speech…

At 7.30pm, familiar and unfamiliar faces began to trickle in, and ten minutes later I opened the exhibition. As I spoke, the tension began to ease, and I began to enjoy the presence of each one of them. I was able to say so with appropriate joy.

Café Koeppen
Would my photos be able to withstand the harsh scrutiny of my critics?

I have seen the photographs in the exhibition so many times that I can no longer enjoy their aesthetics. So it was a pleasure to be able to present them to new eyes, to get new opinions/criticism. It euphorically invited me to feel and hear the joy of others at the sight of the pictures. The feedback made me happy. And there were even some discussions about some of the motifs that I had never dreamed of!

Now the photos are hanging in the café until the end of December, and I hope other people will enjoy them too.

What Am I Actually Exhibiting?

Photographs of the local town taken over the last seven years. During a walk at the beginning of the year, I noticed that most of the subjects could no longer be reproduced: Either the photograph was taken at an inimitable moment on digital celluloid, or the object photographed has been changed, renovated or demolished.

In the exhibition I show a city on a small scale, an invisible Greifswald, so to speak. And I’m trying to create a kind of search game, inviting the viewer to find out where which motif was photographed.

At the end of the evening the conversations dispersed into various corners of the room and created a pleasant atmosphere.

How the Exhibition Came About and What Inspired Me

I bought my first camera (an Olympus OM-D E-M5, to be precise) just before starting university and tried my hand at photography while studying pharmacy. The first subject that came to mind was the city. So, from the end of 2012, I took the photos you can see in the exhibition.

Even though the will was there in principle, until two years ago I lacked the self-confidence to consider my photos of a high enough quality to show them in an exhibition. It was only when I started my new life as a designer/developer that I experienced myself anew and actively worked on taking my dreams into my own hands.

Since my original wish (which was surpassed by the job offer at KATAPULT magazine) was to leave the city next year, I thought that exhibiting a retrospective portrait captured through my eyes would be a nice end to my time in Greifswald.

I also felt that my photos would fit in well with Café Koeppen. In short, I asked and received permission shortly afterward. The owner was very pleased with the photos!

Are You Close? Come and Visit Us!

If you’re reading this in 2019, feel free to drop by:

Café Koeppen
Bahnhofsstraße 4/5
17489 Greifswald

Any visitor is most welcome. 🙂

One, Two or Three Words of Gratitude

I would like to thank everyone who actively supported me in the planning and realization of the exhibition: my girlfriend, my friends and Christiane Waak, who offered me to exhibit my photos in her café.

End of article. If you spot a typo or have thoughts about this article, feel free to write me. 🙆‍♂️

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