Born in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in 1979, currently living in Berlin. Andreas Mühe trained as a photo laboratory technician and went on to work as an assistant for Ali Kepenek and Anatol Kotte. He has worked as a freelance photographer since 2001.
In his widely applauded cycle of work Obersalzberg (2010-13) Andreas Mühe confronts an historically charged landscape and visual sensibility. Shot at Hitler’s private retreat in Obersalzberg, Upper Bavaria, the images in this series offer an ironic perspective and include a model in Nazi uniform urinating against the backdrop of an Alpine panorama and Hitler posing naked in the light of a spotlight. The exhibition includes a selection of work from this cycle, featuring portraits of the photographer’s friends taken against the backdrop of a red curtain. Hitler’s portraitist, Walter Frentz, photographed high-ranking military commanders and politicians of the Third Reich in this style. But while Frentz’ portraits were very much a rushed affair; Mühe’s works are an exercise in overstatement. The portraits raise questions about identity and uniformity, and evoke images of two generations: of those who lived under the Nazi regime as young adults and of their grandchildren, who must grapple with the contemporary phenomena of neo-Nazism and the terrorism of the NSU. These small-format portraits are displayed in the exhibition opposite images from the Wandlitz (2011) series, for which Mühe photographed the façades of various buildings at the site of a former secure residential estate occupied by the leaders of the GDR, including Erich Honecker and Erich Mielke. Here, as with his portraiture, Mühe’s work is defined by its strict composition and aesthetics of the absurd that underscores their staging. Mühe sets these seemingly banal façades in scene with a theatrical lighting scheme against a dark background created with balloon lights commonly used on film sets. As with the portraits in his Obersalzberg series, these images are presented in a 4 x 5 inch format (approx. 10 x 12 cm), a size which corresponds to the negative of the large-format camera used by Mühe.
Iamge 1: „Patrick III“, Image 2: „Stephan I“, Image 3: „Fabian II“, series „Obersalzberg“, 2010-13, © VG-Bildkunst Bonn, courtesy carlier gebauer
Video // Interview: Vinzent Kutsche * director & DoP & editor: Nadja Smith * music: The Aim of Design Is to Define Space * producer: Nadja Smith