Daniel Schumann, Bielefeld, Germany
Daniel Schumann, born in 1981, studied photography in Germany and the United States. Subjects of his photographic projects are the coordinates of the human. "How do we face up to the fact that our lives are finite?" Ever since he did his alternative civilian service in a hospice, confronting this question has been a central aspect of his photographic work. For his projects, Daniel Schumann received grants and awards. His photographs are published as monographs and have been shown in solo and group exhibition worldwide.
Since I was working on my book “Princesses and Football Stars”, I‘m very much interested in the subject of family portraits. For this project, I have taken portraits of families who have a child with a life-threatening disease. As a Fulbright grantee in San Francisco in 2011 and 2012, I was working on a topic full of life. And to carry the subject of family portraits in such a diverse and liberal city forward, I was taking portraits of LGBT families and couples, as an investigation on the recent understanding of family life. The ease, how gay and straight families live together in this wonderful city is amazing and enlightening. Thus, this project is at the same time a declaration of love to San Francisco and its incredible liberty, a contemporary examination of the subject of family
portraits, and an encounter with people, their concepts of life, and their dreams. All pictures, I have taken in color and with daylight, or if necessary, as less as possible additional light sources. By doing this, I wanted to underline the reality shown. And at the same time, I wanted to give as much space as possible to the portrayed people to express themselves. To be able to tell as much as possible about the pictured personalities, I took the portraits at their homes or at places, which are of a particular importance for these people. The title of this project “International Orange”, the color of the Golden Gate Bridge, is
at the same time a reference to San Francisco, to the rainbow flag of the gay movement, and a description of the multicultural diversity of the city.
Like my earlier projects, I will publish these pictures as a book, since this is a strong but intimate possibility to tell a photographic story about being gay in San Francisco.
Gray White Black
On November 20, 2007, the news of the sudden death of my grandmother (* April 15, 1920) reached me in the Jordanian Desert. My need to say goodbye to her remained unfulfilled at the already closed grave. With this work I have created a way to say goodbye to my grandmother.
From this gesture of saying goodbye, I have at the same time succeeded in approaching my grandfather (* January 10, 1912) photographically, who has been living in an old people's home since the death of his wife. Due to senile dementia and increasing weakness, he had to leave the shared apartment after sixty-two years of marriage.
The apartment, the place with which my grandparents were closely connected, which gave them security and support, was dissolved. The traces of their life in this apartment have been removed.
What remained were pictures that my grandfather created of his family. They show the view of a man on his wife, the view of a husband and father on his family and take the viewer on a journey into the past.
This is how I approach my grandparents, showing the profound changes in life that age and death bring. Not only my grandparents, but also their children and grandchildren are faced with the question of how the family can and must face these changes.
How does the family, how does each individual deal with the death of my grandmother? What impact does this change have on the entire family structure? To what extent can and must the roles of the individual family members change in order to be able to deal with the new situation appropriately?
Daniel Schumann: International Orange. Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2013
Daniel Schumann: Princesses and Football Stars. Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag, 2010
Daniel Schumann: Purple Brown Grey White Black. Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2009
DZ Bank Kunstsammlung
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