The exhibition focuses on Alec Soth’s series Sleeping by the Missisippi and Joachim Brohm’s Ruhr series, which both portray people on the periphery of a river. Brohm, who studied at the Folkwang Hochschule, is a visual artist who expresses himself through the medium of photography. Soth is a lyrical documentary photographer in the tradition of Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld. What unites the two is a documentary-artistic view that identifies them as sensitive documentarists of their social environment. The exhibition brings together a total of ten groups of works by the two photographers. In addition to the well-known series on the Ruhr and the Mississippi, rare portraits by Joachim Brohm and a new work by Alec Soth will also be shown for the first time worldwide.
Joachim Brohm is a visual artist who expresses himself through the medium of photography and who has been instrumental in the development of photography as an art form since the 1980s. In his first, internationally acclaimed series Ruhr (1980–1983), he documented the leisure activities of people on the river banks of the Ruhr. Alongside the photographers from the Düsseldorf School of Photography, Brohm is one of the most important photographic artists in Germany. In his mostly documentary works, he primarily explores the structures of urban development and periphery—with all their social, sociological, economic, and cultural implications. He was artistically educated and influenced at the Folkwang Hochschule in the tradition of Otto Steinert and Michael Schmidt, but also through his Fulbright Scholarship at Ohio State University, where he studied photography under Allan Sekula.