Genius loci – Two german gentlemen in the land of the Tsarz, by Thomas Kellner

Genius Loci

In the beginning of 2012, the fine art photographer received a surprising E-Mail from Yekaterinburg in the Russian Urals, to form a project with exhibition and book for the city’s anniversary in 2013, because Yekaterinburg was founded almost 300 years ago, by Georg Wilhem Henning, a Siegen Citizen. This was barely known and he started his research and is now finalizing genius loci.

During the years of study the author began to work with pinhole cameras in the subject of art which built the basis for his approach he is following to the present day. In his early works experimenting with material, photographic methods and contents was crucial. It included building pinhole cameras himself in order to adopt them to the purpose he was aiming at. The results reflect a diversity of styles and subjects. They range from multiple perspectives within one photograph over documentary to photograms. In this period he always printed full editions so that today there is a large number of a vintage print for later exhibitions.

At the end of the nineties then Thomas focused on the analogue camera and 35 mm film. He developed a visual language and method that deconstructs and constructs objects at the same time. Now, since already 15 years, he is working in a worldwide unique style of contactsheets, photographing the object in numerous singular shots until in the end the object is visible in its entirety again. The film-material Thomas is using is transparent for the recipient as well because the single shots are assembled together as negatives. Therefore perforation, codification and numbers of the film-material are part of the positive.

Genius loci – Two german gentlemen in the land of the Tsarz

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Detailed information about Genius loci

Title: Thomas Kellner – Genius loci
Editor: Thomas Kellner
Authors: Artjom Berkovic, Andreas Bingener, Irina Chmyreva
Photographer: Thomas Kellner
Content: 144 pages
Size: 30,5 x 24,5 cm, hardcover with dustjacket
Languages: German, English, Russian
Publisher: seltmann+söhne
Edition: 2500
ISBN: 978-3944721026
Release Date: October 30, 2014
Price: 39,90 Euros
Edition of the special edition four different, each 25 + 1AP
Price of the special edition 490,– Euros

Special edition prints

There are four different images available as special editions to accompany this book.

Special edition: Siegerland, Siegen Mitte

Special edition: Polevskoy, Blast Furnace

Order your special edition here

Special edition: Nizhnij Tagil, Kujbishev Factory

Special edition: Jekaterinburg, City Hall

Some more bites about genius loci the book

“The same as his countryman and predecessor in the Urals, Georg Wilhelm Henning, Kellner reconstructs the customary world so that it stays in movement and continually delivers new perspectives today and in the future as well.” (Irina Chmyrewa)

This project genius loci deals in an artistic-photographical manner with two important industrial areas in Germany and Russia, which are liked to each other through the common history of industrial culture. I’m talking of my hometown Siegen and two of the biggest cities of Russia, Yekaterinburg and Perm.

There is something that scarcely anybody knows: Yekaterinburg and Perm were founded by the native of Siegen, Georg Wilhelm Henning. Georg Wilhelm de Gennin, as he is called in Russia, October 11th 1676 till April 12th 1750, was a German born officer and artificer, who was invited from Peter the Great to Russia because of having an outstanding knowledge in metallurgy. In the 1720ies he founded the first mining schools in Russia, travelled to Europe to promote specialists in mining and built new plants in the Urals, which developed in a minimum of time to one of the most important economic and educational centre: Yekaterinburg and Perm.

In 2013 I followed the traces of Henning and photographed important enterprises in Germany and Russia to show their similarity, namely the processing of steel and metal. As result there emerged a series about the industrial architecture in the Siegerland and the Urals, that presents the heretofore little known relation between these industrial areas. The exhibition with my works started already in November in Yekaterinburg und moves afterwards to Moscow, Krasnodar, Pingyao (China) and back to Siegen. In addition, this book with wonderful photographs shows on 144 pages the industrial architecture and culture of different regions, and essays telling interesting things about the Siegerland, the origins of Henning and my work as an artist.

Since 1989 the artist lives in Siegen and since 1997 he workes there as a freelance artist and photographer. His works were shown in solo exhibitions in London, Paris, Brasilia and New York. Museums, like in Houston, Chicago, Rochester and Rio de Janeiro bought my pictures for their collections. The works for the bicentenary jubilee of the Boston Athenaeum and for the 50th anniversary of Brasilia’s capitol Brasília, belong to the biggest projects of the last years that he worked on.

„The architecture is similar to a full stop which completes the artistic process and at the same time is the starting point for the observer's new artistic journey - that is what Kellner does.” (Irina Chmyrewa)

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Thank you for supporting this book of genius loci

Thank you for supporting this unique project combinig fine art photography with cultural history via indiegogo: Simon Puschmann, Marcus Freitas, Susan Livi, Michael Dooney, Peter Wiklund, Joan Morgenstern, Alex Kiryutin, Ina-Marie Schmidt, Dan & Adel Nelken, Andreas Klaas, Denis Tarasov.

Thank you for ordering a special edition by subscription: Ingo und Gerlinde Schultze-Schnabl, Steffen und Heidi Mues, Herr und Frau Kowalewski, Thomas Fischer, Gräbener Maschinentechnik GmbH u. Co KG, Dr. Theodor und Marion Gräbener, Philipp Bojahr, Heinrich Georg GmbH Maschinenfabrik, Mark Georg, it:koloss, Dr. Christian Jung, BGH Edelstahl Siegen GmbH, Gunnar Kohlschein, Ardis Bartle,Hotel im Auerbachtal, Hans-Georg Müller, RWE Siegen, Vetter Umformtechnik, Arnold Vetter, Michael Bolus und Maria Freericks, Nelly Thomas, Ingrid Tielsch,Tsubaki Kabelschlepp GmbH, Olaf Hübner,Guido Schmidt, Harry Y. Oda.