Genoa 2005

Goethe Institute Genoa

Magnificence and Luminescence behind Gates

Genua is a city whose numerous narrow, centuries-old alleys with houses wind themselves alongside the hills. On summer days, the heat and humidity are captured here. Sometimes, there is a light breeze and I try to dry my wet forehead by turning my head to put together a clear thought.

I did not come to this city from the harbor or the open sea. My first impressions were from the air. From a taxi into the city - over mountain roads similar to those where I live - through tunnels which they would like to build back home – I landed directly next to the Via Garibaldi.

Many different ideas drove me into different corners of the city. Some of them I wanted to tackle, but all of a sudden I was captured by this city and my commission. My profession held me tightly between the palace walls – into a city, into another time and into the buildings whose thick gates seemed to block me from entering.

In the broad streets of the Via Garibaldi and Via Balbi, it was a different type of confinement. The mighty palaces bore witness to power and wealth, stood in a straight row and stretched their thick walls toward me. I went through the large gates and any thoughts I had of narrow depressing alleys between high walls all vanished. It was as if I were stepping into an ethereal lightness. Stepping through these courtyards, flights of stairways and galleries was similar to drifting into a magnificent and affluent past.

Glaring sunlight, shadows between the arches and columns, a light breeze and thick walls that defend against the heat - voices died away to a broad mumbling in the courtyards. Old doors fell into their well-oiled locks. Gates spiked with defensive points did allow entry to the visitor.  Behind many a door shone the magnificent and light worlds of palaces from another time.

Often, a friendly porter would nod in response to my questioning and bobbing photography movements, and I could thankfully invite these palaces to dance with my camera.

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“Kellner’s technique is similar to Cortázar’s gíglico in that many —though not all— of the pieces in his composites are semantically opaque.” 
Fernando Castro R.



Art Galerie, Siegen, John Cleary Gallery, Houston, K4 galerie Werner Deller, Saarbrücken, Galerie Maurer, München, Schneider Gallery, Chicago, in focus Galerie, Burkhard Arnold, Köln, ed. 2007. Thomas Kellner: Dancing Walls 2003 - 2006. 1000th ed. Siegen.

Galerie Vrais Rêves, ed. 2014. Thomas Kellner: Contacts 1997-2013. With the assistance of R. Mathieu and R. Viallon. 1000th ed. Lyon.

Kreis Düren, ed. 2010. Thomas Kellner FarbWelt 135-36: Kunstpreis Des Kreises Düren. Düren: Kreis Düren.


Exhibition catalogues

Arrouye, Jean. 2014. “Un Art D'imagination.” In Thomas Kellner: Contacts 1997-2013, edited by Galerie Vrais Rêves. 1000th ed., 4–5. Lyon.

Centro Culturale Europeo & Arte e Cultura srl fondazione Carige, ed. 2005. Genova Scatti Europei. Genova.

FotoFest Houston, ed. (2008) 2008. Participating Spaces: FotoFest. Houston, Tex. FotoFest Inc.

Kellner, Thomas. 2005. “Lichte Leichtigkeit.” In Genova Scatti Europei, edited by Centro Culturale Europeo & Arte e Cultura srl fondazione Carige. Genova.

Zehnder, Frank G. Prof. Dr. 2010. “Von Der Autonomie Des Bildes.” In Thomas Kellner FarbWelt 135-36: Kunstpreis Des Kreises Düren, edited by Kreis Düren, 23–29. Düren: Kreis Düren.


Journals and magazines

Alarcón, Concepción. 2008. “Thomas Kellner: Fragmentos De Percepción.” La Fotografía Actual 20 (130): 10–14.

Aylott, Bob. (2008) 2008. “Book Review: Dancing Walls 2003-2006.” Amateur Photographer, 44–45.

Zollner, Manfred. 2008. “Das Besondere Portfolio: Der Dekonstruierte Raum.” fotoMagazin (8): 124–29.


Television contributions

Grandon, Florence. 8. April, 2008. Thomas Kellner - "Dancing Walls". Le 12/13 Midi pile. Nancy Cedex: France 3, Lorraine champagne ardenne, 2008. DVD.