Thomas Kellner – Dancing Walls

The Photographic View on the Interior

This illustrated book from 2007 contains works by photo-artist Thomas Kellner where he concentrates on building’s interiors instead of facades. Kellner traveled to China, Mexico, Italy, UK and to the US, to capture interiors of for example museums and libraries in fragments. Each object’s individual architectural style and vibrant colors define the constitution of the images which were produced between 2003 and 2006. Among the objects you find diverse examples as the MCA in Chicago or the Hotel Mexico in Mexico City. The German and English introduction to Kellner’s work is given by Alison Nordström, curator of photography at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, USA.

„Kellner’s recent shift of subject from iconic architectural monuments to the quieter differently purposed spaces of museums, libraries, and palaces that have become concert venues has significant metaphorical implications though its irony remains. His early, somewhat distant images of monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the White House, and the Brandenburg gate often seemed intended to portray symbolic sites of power as they crumbled or exploded, manifesting Yeats’s apocalyptic vision that “Things fall apart. The center will not hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” Although still strikingly self-reflexive in terms of the photographic process, the new work, focusing on interiors and sites of cultural production, evokes a somewhat different feeling than the overtones of shattering destruction that characterized his treatment of iconic buildings and monuments. This gentler, more delicate work, suggests a harmonious and organic rhythm, which Kellner himself refers to as a “vibration” or a “dancing glance” that delineates a built space like a living, breathing being, and suggests, perhaps, the quiet human use it has been put to.”

Dancing Walls – the book

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The special edition of Dancing Walls

This book was supported by selling one print in an edition of 30+3. The goilded staircase of Mexico City's postoffice got quite popular and the regular edition sold out quickly. Thank you to my collectors and to Expansion in Mexico for commissioning me this series on Mexico

Images of the special edition

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Detailed information about Thomas Kellner – Dancing Walls

Title: Thomas Kellner – Dancing Walls 2003–2006
Editor: Art Galerie Siegen, John Clearly Gallery Houston, K4 galerie Werner Deller, Schneider Gallery Chicago, in focus Galerie Cologne, Galerie Maurer Munich
Author: Alison Nordström
Photographer: Thomas Kellner
Content: 80 pages, 38 plates
Size: 20 x 20 cm, Hardcover
Language(s): German, English
Publisher: seltmann+söhne
Edition: 1000
ISBN: 978-3-942831-69-7
Release Date: 2007
Price: 29,90 Euros
Edition of the special edition: 30+3 copies
Price of the special edition: 30 sold, next copy 2800,– Euros

What the press says about Dancing Walls

Book review: Dancing Walls in: amateur photographer 18 October 2008

If you love taking photographs of famous locations but are looking for something new, then Thomas Kellner could inspire you to shoot your top hotspots with a difference. Beware, though, as this photo adventure will cost a fortune in film – unless you do a digital cheat. Thomas is creating contemporary visions with style and class. As Alison Nordström says in the introduction, ‘ Kellner chose to make an image that could not for a moment be equated with the real thing, by moving his camera in a succession of  shots that he collectively combined to constitute both reference and an interpretation’. Kellner has captured every part of a scene like an eye darting from one area to the next. Often more than 100 images have contributed to the final print. (amateur photographer 18 October 2008, page 45)

Tanzende Wände in: PHOTOGRAPHIE, 11-2008 (Originally in German)

After September 11, 2001, Thomas Kellner's artistic future in the USA was written in the stars. No wonder, since his best-known photos show American skyscrapers disassembled into individual parts. But the abstract image mosaics received a great deal of attention after 9/11. And it remained highly exciting to observe Kellner's successful development: a new, unfortunately rather small-format volume presents lesser-known interior motifs by the German photographer

Nach dem 11. September 2001 stand Thomas Kellners künstlerische Zukunft in den USA in den Sternen. Kein Wunder, denn seine bekanntesten Fotos zeigen amerikanische Wolkenkratzer in Einzelteile zerlegt. Den abstrakten Bildmosaiken wurde aber nach 9/11 große Aufmerksamkeit zuteil. Und es blieb hochspannend, Kellners erfolgreiche Entwicklung zu beobachten: ein neuer, leider recht kleinformatiger Band stellt unbekanntere Interior-Motive des deutschen Fotografen vor. (PHOTOGRAPHIE, 11-2008, Seite 66)


Thank you to Alison Nordström for writing this wonderful essay, to Marc Babenschneider for the design and Druckerei Vorlaender for printing. And most thank you to Artgalerie, in focus gallery, Schneider Gallery and John Cleary Gallery for supporting this book.