Goetz Diergarten - Auf Bötzow

Goetz Diergarten – Auf Boetzow
Third Term International Photography Festival Liaoning (Beizhen) China
September 10–17, 2019
Beizhen, Liaoning, Peoples Republic of China

Götz Diergarten, trained under Bernd and Hilla Becher, is the exemplary embodiment of the contemporary generation of photographers who naturally mold the visible into an artistic concept and open visual avenues of documentary thought. His cautious eye for the descriptive details of the structures – now a complete ensemble shaped by its shifting functions – brings the extraordinary aspects of everyday life to the surface.
Whether in a detailed close-up, a glimpse of an interior, or an ex-pansive perspective, the old brewery transforms itself before Diergarten’s camera according to the angle he takes. Here an architectural sculpture with its stony or metallic tangibility and palpability, there a two-dimensional image of color, light, and shadow. Like an archeolo-gist, he uncovers the convergence of cables and capitals, the liaison of brick sediment and decorative façade elements. (Hans Georg Näder – preface, „Auf Bötzow“)

Diergarten uses the precarious beauty of the aban-doned location, which emanates the silence of a former factory. 
What do we get from this abstract view of industrial culture?  Diergarten’s photographs are not content only to free the viewer from the shackles of his everyday perception of his surroundings. The re-sult is a collection of painterly states like only photography can afford us. Look long enough, and we are likely to be surprised that documen-tary has not in fact been eliminated in favor of abstraction. Rather it raps in the background like the knock of a metronome keeping time at the piano, cutting through the foreground again and again with the unrestrained insights only art can provide. We can see beauty only in the tamed, silenced, and harmless. We marveled at Turner’s stormy oceans only once we were able to calmly sail the seas; landscape paint-ing reached its apex once nature had been tamed. Under the surface, industry’s pulsating hammer pounds away and reminds us what shapes our present and future: the past. (Swantje Karich, „Auf Bötzow“)

Götz Diergarten was born in Mannheim in 1972. He studied fine art photography at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts under Professor Bernd Becher and
at the College of Design in Zurich. Götz Diergarten lives and works in Volxheim near Bad Kreuznach.

Besides various international group exhibitions the most import solo shows took place at Kunstverein Heidelberg, Museum Weserburg, Bremen, mpk (Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern) as well as at the Goethe-Insitutes of
London und Krakow (Wyspianski Pavillon).
Since 2001 his work has been shown at international art galleries – among them Berlin, Santa Monica, Seoul, Zurich, Paris) and international fairs such as Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Armory Show, Paris Photo...

Besides the well-known Pfalzpreis für bildende Kunst (2010) and other prices Götz Diergarten was awarded a Hasselbald research grant (2005).


thank you to the organizers of the the Third Term International Photography Festival Liaoning in Beizhen and Mr. Zhang Guotian for inviting me to curate this exhibition. And very special thank you to Goetz Diergarten for working on this with me again.