Has lived in Hamburg since 1980 as a freelance photographer, author, lecturer and curator. In 1996, she founded the PHOTO.KUNST.RAUM., a centre for artistic photography and visual arts that is known beyond the borders of Hamburg.
Carmen Oberst turns the world into a stage. As an actor, she usually uses found events and people who happen to be present to create a fantastic production from the group of works "Imagination rods - on the road" using photographic means. In the 1980s, she developed her own visual language on the basis of analogue black-and-white photography, with photo-alchemical experiments. Her intention is to wrest a precious, unique aspect from the fast-moving time that is flooded with images, by wresting surprising individual pieces and unique specimens from the largest reproduction medium of all, "photography" - photochemical painting.
Since 2008, collaborations have taken place with various artists and actors. This has resulted in numerous projects that primarily aim to create an encounter of the moment. Films and photographs that document this encounter or give rise to new fantastic worlds of images often reappear a year later in transformed form in the next project.
From the idiosyncratic mixture of alchemical joy in experimentation and a humorous inclination towards staging, the Hamburg-based photo artist Carmen Oberst has developed an unmistakable style.
The classic black-and-white photograph of an experienced or staged moment undergoes a transformation into a document of altered memory when re-encountered in the photo lab: multiple exposures, photograms, solarisations, montages and photochemical overpaintings give rise to unique specimens of special charm and mysterious aura. With her works, Carmen Oberst shows that there is still a forum for discovering the versatility and complexity of photography alongside the development of electronic media.
Carmen Oberst initially worked as a graphic designer. Since 1997 she has been working intensively with the media of photography and experimental film with numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. Since 1992 Carmen Oberst has been working at a centre for artistic photography.