Born in Greiz in 1981, currently living in Leipzig. Studied at Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts. Margret Hoppe has been recognized for her work with the Documentary Photography Award of the Wüstenrot Foundation, the Marion Ermer Award, and the Sachsen Bank Art Prize.
Margret Hoppe’s series Die verschwundenen Bilder (2005-2010) – The Vanished Images – takes as its subject various works created by East German artists and commissioned by government authorities to promote the values of a socialist society from building façades and at prominent public locations. Hoppe’s photography documents both the voids left by their removal and surviving works now held in vaults and archives. The precise origins of each work depicted in the series are noted in a subtitle – “Werner Tübke, Arbeiterklasse und Intelligenz, 1973, Mischtechnik auf Holz, 12 Tafeln, 270 x 1380 cm, Karl-Marx-Universität Leipzig, 2006” – highlighting gaps that have been intentionally created in our collective memory. One of these photographs depicts a gleaming white, blank wall in the Deutsche Hygiene Museum in Dresden, on which artist Gerhard Richter painted Lebensfreude (Joy of Life) as part of his thesis in 1956. Following Richter’s flight from the GDR, the picture was painted over. Parts of the work were restored following the reunification of Germany, and then again painted over at the artist’s request. The disappearance of these state-commissioned works of art becomes a metaphor for the collapse of a society and its ideological foundations. Elsewhere, Hoppe has taken a similar approach to documenting the remnants of historical architecture. In a cycle of works titled Archiv verlassener Bauten (Archives of Abandoned Buildings), she depicts various buildings robbed of their purpose following the collapse of the GDR. The exhibition features works from her series Die Kammer (2009) – The Chamber. These images were created at Kienbaum Competitive Sports Centre – once an important training facility in the GDR’s doping and scandal ridden state-managed sports programmes. Prior to the the collapse of the GDR, the country’s top athletes, cyclists and swimmers trained here in an altitude chamber. Thanks to the atmospheric conditions prevailing inside the chamber, its interior has been perfectly conserved, and only the design of the facility and training equipment betray the site’s historical quality. These images are presented by the artist together with press photos of GDR athletes.
Image 1: „Werner Tübke: Arbeiterklasse und Intelligenz, Karl-Marx-Universität Leipzig, 1973, Mischtechnik auf Holz, 12 Tafeln, 270 x 1380 cm”
Image 2: „Gerhard Richter, Lebensfreude (1956), Wandbild 500 x 1500 cm, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden“
from the series „Die verschwundenen Bilder“, 2005-10
Film // directed by Nadja Smith * camera: Martin Jörg * cut: Nadja Smith * sounddesign: Frieder Nagel * production: Nadja Smith